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Exploring Food Purchase Behavior of Low-Income Households: How Do They Economize?

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Author Info

  • Leibtag, Ephraim S.
  • Kaufman, Phillip R.

Abstract

This report compares food purchases by U.S. households of different income levels and finds that low-income shoppers spend less on food purchases despite some evidence that they face generally higher purchase prices. Households can economize on food spending by purchasing more discounted products, favoring private-label (generic) products over brand, pursuing volume discounts, or settling for a less expensive product (for example, less lean beef within a product class. A 1998 sample of food store purchase data shows that low-income households adhere to these practices when possible, but that the typically smaller size of food stores in urban and rural locations may sometimes preclude them from doing so.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Agricultural Information Bulletins with number 33711.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uersab:33711

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Related research

Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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Cited by:
  1. Blisard, Noel & Stewart, Hayden, 2006. "How Low-Income Households Allocate Their Food Budget Relative to the Cost of the Thrifty Food Plan," Economic Research Report 7239, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Jones, Eugene, 2008. "Price-Quality Tradeoffs in the Selection of Fresh Fruit: A Look at Apples," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6433, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Blisard, Noel & Stewart, Hayden & Jolliffe, Dean, 2004. "Low-Income Households' Expenditures On Fruits And Vegetables," Agricultural Economics Reports 34041, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Monsivais, Pablo & Mclain, Julia & Drewnowski, Adam, 2010. "The rising disparity in the price of healthful foods: 2004-2008," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 514-520, December.
  5. Stewart, Hayden & Blisard, Noel, 2006. "The Thrifty Food Plan and low-income households in the United States: What food groups are being neglected?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 469-482, October.
  6. Lee, Helen, 2012. "The role of local food availability in explaining obesity risk among young school-aged children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1193-1203.
  7. Mark C. Senia & Helen H. Jensen & Oleksandr Zhylyevskyy, 2014. "Time in Eating and Food Preparation among Single Adults," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 14-wp549, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  8. Wendt, Minh & Kinsey, Jean D. & Kaufman, Phillip R., 2008. "Food Accessibility in the Inner City: What Have We Learned, A Literature Review 1963-2006," Working Papers 37625, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
  9. Bonanno, Alessandro & Chenarides, Lauren & Goetz, Stephan J., 2012. "Limited Food Access as an Equilibrium Outcome: An Empirical Analysis," 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium, May 30-31, Boston, MA 123196, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  10. Christian Broda & Ephraim Leibtag & David E. Weinstein, 2009. "The Role of Prices in Measuring the Poor's Living Standards," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 77-97, Spring.
  11. Leibtag, Ephraim S., 2006. "The Impact of Nontraditional Retailers on Retail Dairy Prices and the Dairy CPI," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21294, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  12. Tegegne, Fisseha & Godwin, Sandria L. & Speller-Henderson, Leslie & Dirkson, Margo, 2005. "Food-Security Status and Food-Purchase Decisions of Low-Income Households in Tennessee," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 36(01), March.

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