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Dietary Implications of Supermarket Development: A Global Perspective


  • Corinna Hawkes


Five decisions by supermarket operators have important dietary implications: the location of their outlets; the foods they sell; the prices they charge; the promotional strategies they use; and the nutrition-related activities they implement. These decisions influence food accessibility, availability, prices and desirability, which in turn influence the decisions consumers make about food. Based on a comprehensive literature review, this article finds that the dietary implications are both positive - supermarkets can make a more diverse diet available and accessible to more people - and negative - supermarkets can reduce the ability of marginalised populations to purchase a high-quality diet, and encourage the consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor highly-processed foods. Overall, the most universally applicable dietary implication is that supermarkets encourage consumers to eat more, whatever the food. Copyright (c) The Author 2008. Journal compilation (c) 2008 Overseas Development Institute..

Suggested Citation

  • Corinna Hawkes, 2008. "Dietary Implications of Supermarket Development: A Global Perspective," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 26(6), pages 657-692, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:26:y:2008:i:6:p:657-692

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schipmann, Christin & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Modern food retailers and traditional markets in developing countries: Comparing quality, prices, and competition strategies in Thailand," Discussion Papers 108348, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    2. Minten, Bart & Reardon, Thomas & Sutradhar, Rajib, 2010. "Food Prices and Modern Retail: The Case of Delhi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 1775-1787, December.
    3. Qaim, Matin & Andersson, Camilla I.M. & Chege, Christine G.K. & Kimenju, Simon Chege & Klasen, Stephan & Rischke, Ramona, 2014. "Nutrition Effects of the Supermarket Revolution on Urban Consumers and Smallholder Farmers in Kenya," Discussion Papers 180976, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    4. Kimenju, Simon & Qaim, Matin, 2014. "The Nutrition Transition and Indicators of Child Malnutrition," Discussion Papers 195709, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    5. Matthew Kelly & Sam-ang Seubsman & Cathy Banwell & Jane Dixon & Adrian Sleigh, 2015. "Traditional, modern or mixed? Perspectives on social, economic, and health impacts of evolving food retail in Thailand," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 32(3), pages 445-460, September.
    6. Minten, Bart & Assefa, Thomas Woldu & Abebe, Girum & Engida, Ermias & Tamru, Seneshaw, 2016. "Food processing, transformation, and job creation: The case of Ethiopia’s enjera markets," ESSP working papers 96, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Gómez, Miguel I. & Ricketts, Katie D., 2013. "Food value chain transformations in developing countries: Selected hypotheses on nutritional implications," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 139-150.
    8. Roemling, Cornelia & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Obesity Trends, Determinants and Policy Implications in Indonesia," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126208, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Bonanno, Alessandro & Castellari, Elena & Scockai, Paolo, 2014. "The Effect of Trade Liberalization on Food Retail Structure and Food Price Levels in Italy: an Empirical Analysis," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182762, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. Cairns, Georgina & Macdonald, Laura, 2016. "Stakeholder insights on the planning and development of an independent benchmark standard for responsible food marketing," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 109-120.
    11. Meng, Ting & Florkowski, Wojciech J. & Sarpong, Daniel B. & Chinnan, Manjeet S. & Resurreccion, Anna V.A., 2014. "Consumer’s Food Shopping Choice in Ghana: Supermarket or Traditional Outlets?," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 17(A).
    12. Revoredo-Giha, Cesar, 2015. "Retailers' Promotions: What Role Do They Play in Household Food Purchases by Degree of Food Access in Scotland?," 148th Seminar, November 30-December 1, 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands 229275, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Bonanno, Alessandro & Castellari, Elena & Sckokai, Paolo, 2014. "Trade Liberalization and Food Retail Structure: The Italian Case," 2014 Third Congress, June 25-27, 2014, Alghero, Italy 173090, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    14. Athina-Evera Qendro, 2015. "Albanian and UK Consumers’ Perceptions of Farmers’ Markets and Supermarkets as Outlets for Organic Food: An Exploratory Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-26, May.
    15. Wendy J. Umberger & Xiaobo He & Nicholas Minot & Hery Toiba, 2015. "Examining the Relationship between the Use of Supermarkets and Over-nutrition in Indonesia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 97(2), pages 510-525.
    16. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:292-303 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:unt:jnapdj:v:24:y:2017:i:1:p:117-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Megan Carney, 2012. "Compounding crises of economic recession and food insecurity: a comparative study of three low-income communities in Santa Barbara County," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 29(2), pages 185-201, June.
    19. Rudkin, Simon, 2015. "Supermarket Interventions and Diet in areas of Limited Retail Access: Policy Suggestions from the Seacroft Intervention Study," MPRA Paper 62434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Dowler, Elizabeth A. & O’Connor, Deirdre, 2012. "Rights-based approaches to addressing food poverty and food insecurity in Ireland and UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 44-51.
    21. Lara Cockx & Liesbeth Colen & Joachim De Weerdt, 2017. "From Corn to Popcorn? Urbanization and Food Consumption in sub-Sahara Africa: Evidence From Rural-Urban Migrants in Tanzania," LICOS Discussion Papers 39017, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    22. Rischke, Ramona & Kimenju, Simon C. & Klasen, Stephan & Qaim, Matin, 2015. "Supermarkets and food consumption patterns: The case of small towns in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 9-21.
    23. Francesco Bimbo & Rosaria Viscecchia & Gianluca Nadone, 2013. "L’effetto della "filiera corta" sul livello di obesità in Italia," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 15(2), pages 97-110.
    24. 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.
    25. Demmler, Kathrin M. & Ecker, Olivier & Qaim, Matin, 2018. "Supermarket Shopping and Nutritional Outcomes: A Panel Data Analysis for Urban Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 292-303.

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