Where Urban Residents Shop for Produce


  • Allison Karpyn The Food Trust
  • Karyn Tappe Rowan University
  • Amy Hillier University of Pennsylvania
  • Carolyn Cannuscio University of Pennsylvania
  • Julia Koprak The Food Trust
  • Karen Glanz University of Pennsylvania




Farmers Markets, Food Access, Fruit and Vegetables, Nutrition, Produce, Supermarket, Food Incentives, Food Policy


There is limited research documenting the shopping behaviors of urban residents with regard to where they shop for fruits and vegetables. This study sought to: (1) describe characteristics of consumers who shop for produce at supermarkets, alternative fresh food outlets, and farmers' markets; and (2) identify correlates of farmers' market shopping among urban consumers. Participants were recruited from 30 randomly selected residential blocks in West and Southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to complete a cross-sectional survey. Of 622 residents contacted, 82.6 percent completed a usable survey. Participants were predominantly African American (75.2 percent), single (47 percent), and receiving public assistance (30.1 percent). About half of the respondents reported shopping at farmers' markets (48.2 percent), produce stores (47.9 percent), and/or fruit and vegetable trucks (48.0 percent percent) for produce. Having vouchers for farmers' markets was significantly associated with shopping at those markets, being younger, and not owning a car. Our analysis begins to bridge the gap in understanding how individual-level differences may influence shopping patterns. Findings suggest that financial incentives to shop at farmers' markets can be meaningful contributors to shopping at these venues and may work to support the narrowing of disparities in access to healthy, affordable food.


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Author Biographies

Allison Karpyn, The Food Trust

The Food Trust; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Allison is now at the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy, University of Delaware; 201D Willard Hall, 16 West Main Street; Newark, Delaware 19716 USA; +1-302-831-6428.

Karyn Tappe, Rowan University

Psychology Department, Rowan University.

Amy Hillier, University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania School of Design.

Carolyn Cannuscio, University of Pennsylvania

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Julia Koprak, The Food Trust

The Food Trust.

Karen Glanz, University of Pennsylvania

Perelman School of Medicine and School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania.



How to Cite

Karpyn, A., Tappe, K., Hillier, A., Cannuscio, C., Koprak, J., & Glanz, K. (2014). Where Urban Residents Shop for Produce. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 4(4), 129–141. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2014.044.009



Open Call Paper