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Commercialization of Food Consumption in Rural China

Author

Listed:
  • Gale, H. Frederick, Jr.
  • Tang, Ping
  • Bai, Xianhong
  • Xu, Huijun

Abstract

Rural households in China have traditionally consumed food mostly grown on their own farms. While they continue to rely on self-produced grains, vegetables, meats, and eggs for a large portion of their diet, rural households are now purchasing more of their food as they enter the mainstream of the Chinese economy. Cash purchases of food by rural Chinese households increased 7.4 percent per year from 1994 to 2003. Consumption has shifted from self-produced to purchased food at a rate faster than can be explained by income growth or changes in other household characteristics. The move away from self-produced food is associated with lower consumption of staple grains, the most important self produced food in rural Chinese diets. Food consumed away from home is one of the fastest growing categories of rural household expenditures, doubling in budget share from 1995 to 2001. Commercialization of food consumption is diversifying Chinese diets, broadening food markets, and creating new opportunities for retailers and product distributors.

Suggested Citation

  • Gale, H. Frederick, Jr. & Tang, Ping & Bai, Xianhong & Xu, Huijun, 2005. "Commercialization of Food Consumption in Rural China," Economic Research Report 7256, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:7256
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/7256
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hengyun Ma & Jikun Huang & Frank Fuller & Scott Rozelle, 2006. "Getting Rich and Eating Out: Consumption of Food Away from Home in Urban China," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 54(1), pages 101-119, March.
    2. Seale, James & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 184321, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jing You & Katsushi S. Imai & Raghav Gaiha, 2014. "Decoding the Growth-Nutrition Nexus in China: Inequality, Uncertainty and Food Insecurity," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1413, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    2. Jing You, 2014. "Dietary change, nutrient transition and food security in fast-growing China," Chapters,in: Handbook on Food, chapter 9, pages 204-245 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Zhao, Jing & Thompson, Wyatt, 2013. "The Effect of Refrigerator Use on Meat Consumption in Rural China," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 142931, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Lee, Yiu-fai Daniel, 2008. "Do families spend more on boys than on girls? Empirical evidence from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 80-100, March.

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