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Appetite. 2010 Apr;54(2):297-303. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.11.015. Epub 2009 Dec 2.

Shopping for fruits and vegetables. Food and retail qualities of importance to low-income households at the grocery store.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Western Michigan University, 1903 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5322, USA. caroline.webber@wmich.edu

Abstract

Purchasing fruits and vegetables is an integral part of managing food consumption and dietary quality. This study examined how low-income adults who had primary responsibility for household food purchases considered retail produce decisions. We used a qualitative research approach based on grounded theory and an ecological conceptual framework. Twenty-eight low-income rural, village, and inner city heads of households in upstate New York, USA, were selected by purposive and theoretical sampling and interviewed about fruit and vegetable shopping habits, attitudes toward local food stores, and where and how they would prefer to buy produce. Analyses revealed their concerns were organized around five themes: store venue; internal store environment; product quality; product price; relationships with the stores. An unanticipated finding was the differing social relations that appear to exist between participant consumers, store employees and management, and the store itself as a representation of the larger retail food system. Attitudes toward retail food stores in this study are described as passive or fatalistic indifference, supportive, opportunistic, and confrontational (change agents). These attitudes are related to how shoppers considered retail fruit and vegetable choice, access, and availability. These findings suggest ways to individualize nutrition education and consumer education messages.

PMID:
19961886
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2009.11.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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