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Low-Income Households’ Expenditures on Fruits and Vegetables

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By Noel Blisard, Hayden Stewart, and Dean Jolliffe

Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-833) 30 pp, May 2004

This report analyzes fruit and vegetable expenditures by low-income households and higher income households, and compares the sensitivity of both groups' purchases to changes in income. On average, low-income households spent $3.59 per capita per week on fruits and vegetables in 2000 while higher income households spent $5.02-a statistically significant difference. In addition, a statistical demand model indicates that marginal increases in income received by low-income households are not spent on additional fruits and vegetables. In contrast, increases in income received by higher income households do increase their fruit and vegetable expenditures. One interpretation of this finding is that low-income households will allocate an additional dollar of income to other food or nonfood items deemed more essential to the household such as meats, clothing, or housing.

Keywords: fruits and vegetables, household food expenditures, low-income households, ERS, USDA

In this report ...

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Updated date: May 24, 2004

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