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

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

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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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/33711
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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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