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Women’s perceptions of factors influencing their food shopping choices and how supermarkets can support them to make healthier choices

Women’s perceptions of factors influencing their food shopping choices and how supermarkets can support them to make healthier choices
Women’s perceptions of factors influencing their food shopping choices and how supermarkets can support them to make healthier choices
Objectives: to examine women’s perceptions of factors that influence their food shopping choices, particularly in relation to store layout, and their views on ways that supermarkets could support healthier choices.

Design: this qualitative cross-sectional study used semi-structured telephone interviews to ask participants the reasons for their choice of supermarket and factors in-store that prompted their food selections. The actions supermarkets, governments and customers could take to encourage healthier food choices were explored with women. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify key themes.

Setting: six supermarkets across England

Participants: twenty women customers aged 18-45 years

Results: participants had a median age of 39.5 years (IQR: 35.1, 42.3), a median weekly grocery spend of £70 (IQR: 50, 88), and 44% had left school aged 16 years. Women reported that achieving value for money, feeling hungry, tired, or stressed, and meeting family members’ food preferences influenced their food shopping choices. The physical environment was important, including product quality and variety, plus ease of accessing the store or products in-store. Many participants described how they made unintended food selections as a result of prominent placement of unhealthy products in supermarkets, even if they adopted more conscious approaches to food shopping (i.e. written or mental lists). Participants described healthy eating as a personal responsibility, but some stated that governments and supermarkets could be more supportive.

Conclusions: this study highlighted that in-store environments can undermine intentions to purchase and consume healthy foods. Creating healthier supermarket environments could reduce the burden of personal responsibility for healthy eating, by making healthier choices easier. Future research could explore the interplay of personal, societal and commercial responsibility for food choices and health status.
Food shopping choices, Qualitative methods, Supermarket, Women
1471-2458
Dhuria, Preeti
470c09bf-2b4d-4db6-9100-a6878b4d4d32
Lawrence, Wendy
e9babc0a-02c9-41df-a289-7b18f17bf7d8
Crozier, Sarah
9c3595ce-45b0-44fa-8c4c-4c555e628a03
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Baird, Janis
f4bf2039-6118-436f-ab69-df8b4d17f824
Vogel, Christina
768f1dcd-2697-4aae-95cc-ee2f6d63dff5
Dhuria, Preeti
470c09bf-2b4d-4db6-9100-a6878b4d4d32
Lawrence, Wendy
e9babc0a-02c9-41df-a289-7b18f17bf7d8
Crozier, Sarah
9c3595ce-45b0-44fa-8c4c-4c555e628a03
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Baird, Janis
f4bf2039-6118-436f-ab69-df8b4d17f824
Vogel, Christina
768f1dcd-2697-4aae-95cc-ee2f6d63dff5

Dhuria, Preeti, Lawrence, Wendy, Crozier, Sarah, Cooper, Cyrus, Baird, Janis and Vogel, Christina (2021) Women’s perceptions of factors influencing their food shopping choices and how supermarkets can support them to make healthier choices. BMC Public Health, 21 (1), [1070]. (doi:10.1186/s12889-021-11112-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: to examine women’s perceptions of factors that influence their food shopping choices, particularly in relation to store layout, and their views on ways that supermarkets could support healthier choices.

Design: this qualitative cross-sectional study used semi-structured telephone interviews to ask participants the reasons for their choice of supermarket and factors in-store that prompted their food selections. The actions supermarkets, governments and customers could take to encourage healthier food choices were explored with women. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify key themes.

Setting: six supermarkets across England

Participants: twenty women customers aged 18-45 years

Results: participants had a median age of 39.5 years (IQR: 35.1, 42.3), a median weekly grocery spend of £70 (IQR: 50, 88), and 44% had left school aged 16 years. Women reported that achieving value for money, feeling hungry, tired, or stressed, and meeting family members’ food preferences influenced their food shopping choices. The physical environment was important, including product quality and variety, plus ease of accessing the store or products in-store. Many participants described how they made unintended food selections as a result of prominent placement of unhealthy products in supermarkets, even if they adopted more conscious approaches to food shopping (i.e. written or mental lists). Participants described healthy eating as a personal responsibility, but some stated that governments and supermarkets could be more supportive.

Conclusions: this study highlighted that in-store environments can undermine intentions to purchase and consume healthy foods. Creating healthier supermarket environments could reduce the burden of personal responsibility for healthy eating, by making healthier choices easier. Future research could explore the interplay of personal, societal and commercial responsibility for food choices and health status.

Text
Dhuria2021_Women's supermarket food choices qualitative study_BMCPH - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 13 May 2021
Published date: 5 June 2021
Keywords: Food shopping choices, Qualitative methods, Supermarket, Women

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449384
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449384
ISSN: 1471-2458
PURE UUID: 7ba00902-841b-4dd2-b930-5f486a853274
ORCID for Wendy Lawrence: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1264-0438
ORCID for Sarah Crozier: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9524-1127
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709
ORCID for Janis Baird: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4039-4361
ORCID for Christina Vogel: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3897-3786

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 May 2021 16:32
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:55

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Contributors

Author: Preeti Dhuria
Author: Wendy Lawrence ORCID iD
Author: Sarah Crozier ORCID iD
Author: Cyrus Cooper ORCID iD
Author: Janis Baird ORCID iD
Author: Christina Vogel ORCID iD

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