Dietary Implications of Supermarket Development: A Global Perspective

36 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2008

See all articles by Corinna Hawkes

Corinna Hawkes

World Cancer Research Fund International


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.

Suggested Citation

Hawkes, Corinna, Dietary Implications of Supermarket Development: A Global Perspective. Development Policy Review, Vol. 26, No. 6, pp. 657-692, November 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Corinna Hawkes (Contact Author)

World Cancer Research Fund International

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