Do the Poor Pay More for Food? An Analysis of Grocery Store Availability and Food Price Disparities
Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 33, No. 2, p. 276, 1999
21 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2012
Date Written: 1999
Do the poor pay more for food? To answer this question, this study was conducted to provide an empirical analysis of grocery store access and prices across inner city and suburban communities within the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area. The comparison among different types of grocers and geographic areas is drawn from a survey of approximately fifty grocery items for fifty-five stores. Results indicate that the poor pay only slightly more in the Twin Cities grocery market. More significantly, those who shop in non-chain stores pay a significant premium, and the poor have less access to chain stores. This study reveals that the biggest factor contributing to higher grocery costs in poor neighborhoods is that large chain stores, where prices tend to be lower, are not located in these neighborhoods.
Keywords: Food, poverty, disparity
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