Demand for ready-to-eat foods from restaurants and grocery stores has been growing in the United States. These foods save households time in meal preparation, but they have also been associated with inferior dietary quality and, consequently, poor health for Americans. The demand for such “convenience foods” varies significantly from person to person, and the factors that influence these individual choices are not clear.
Also read, Young Canadians Drive Non-traditional Dining Out, But Struggle with Financial Implications.
This study considers four broad groups of factors: consumers’ financial resources, prices, consumers’ time constraints, and the food environment consumers face. We find that higher income is associated with increased demand for restaurant food, while participation in food assistance programs is associated with increased demand for ready-to-eat and non-ready-to-eat supermarket food. Consumers facing tight time constraints from employment tend to purchase more food from full-service restaurants and less from supermarkets. On the other hand, consumers whose time constraints stem from child
care responsibilities tend to purchase more fast food. The location of restaurants and stores has little effect on demand for convenience foods after controlling for financial resources, time constraints, and relative prices.
See the full study HERE.
SOURCE United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ilya Rahkovsky, Young Jo, and Andrea Carlson
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