Comparing the availability, price, variety and quality of fruits and vegetables across retail outlets and by area level socioeconomic position

Millichamp, Anna & Gallegos, Danielle (2012) Comparing the availability, price, variety and quality of fruits and vegetables across retail outlets and by area level socioeconomic position. Public Health Nutrition, 16(1), pp. 171-178.

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Objective: To explore whether area-level socioeconomic position or the form of retail stream (conventional versus farmers’ market) are associated with differences in the price, availability, variety and quality of a range of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Design: A multi-site cross-sectional pilot study of farmers’ markets, supermarkets and independent fruit and vegetable retailers. Each was surveyed to assess the price, availability, variety and quality of 15 fruit and 18 vegetable items.

Setting: Retail outlets were located in South-East Queensland. Subjects: Fifteen retail outlets were surveyed (five of each retail stream).

Results: Average basket prices were not significantly different across the socioeconomic spectrum however prices in low socioeconomic areas were cheapest. Availability, variety, and quality did not differ across levels of socioeconomic position however the areas with the most socioeconomic disadvantage scored poorest for quality and variety. Supermarkets had significantly better fruit and vegetable availability than farmers’ markets however price, variety and quality scores were not different across retail streams. Results demonstrate a trend to fruit and vegetable prices being more expensive at farmers’ markets, with the price of the Fruit basket being significantly greater at the organic farmer’s market compared with the non-organic farmers’ markets.

Conclusions: Neither area-level socioeconomic position nor the form of retail stream was significantly associated with differences in the availability, price, variety and quality of fruit and vegetables, except for availability which was higher in supermarkets than farmers’ markets. Further research is needed to determine what role farmers’ markets can play in affecting fruit and vegetable intake.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Scopus
9 citations in Web of Science®
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345 since deposited on 12 Dec 2012
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ID Code: 55530
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Fruit and vegetables, Food security, Food access
DOI: 10.1017/S1368980012000766
ISSN: 1475-2727 (online) 1368-9800 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press
Deposited On: 12 Dec 2012 02:06
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 16:20

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