Differences in expenditure and amounts of fresh foods, fruits & vegetables and fish purchased in urban and rural Scotland

Baukje De Roos, Ferdinando Binacchi, Stephen Whybrow, Alan A Sneddon

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To quantitatively analyse expenditure on all fresh foods, fruits and vegetables (F&V) and fish across urban and rural households in Scotland. Fresh foods were chosen since, in general, they are perceived to contribute more to health than processed foods. Descriptive analysis of purchase data of all foods brought into the home during 2012 from the Kantar Worldpanel database. Purchase data were restricted to fresh, unprocessed and raw foods or ‘fresh to frozen’ foods where freezing was part of harvesting. Total household purchases were adjusted for household size and composition. Scotland. Households (n 2576). Rural households reported the highest expenditure per person on fresh foods and F&V, but also bought the most (kilograms) of these items. There were linear trends of average prices paid with urban–rural location (P<0·001), with average prices paid by large urban and remote rural households being £2·14/kg and £2·04/kg for fresh foods, £1·64/kg and £1·60/kg for F&V and £10·07/kg and £10·20/kg for fish, respectively, although differences were quantitatively small. Contrary to previous studies, purchase data show that access to and average prices of fresh foods generally, and F&V and fish specifically, are broadly similar between urban and rural areas. Therefore, the higher expenditure on these foods in rural v. urban areas is probably due to factors other than pricing and availability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-533
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number3
Early online date5 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note


Financial support: This work was supported by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) Division. RESAS had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article. Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. Kantar Worldpanel had no role in study design or data analysis. Authorship: All authors contributed to the coding of the database. B.d.R., F.B. and S.W. contributed to the analyses in SPSS and Excel. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript. Ethics of human subject participation: Not applicable.


  • purchasing behaviour
  • rural-urban
  • fresh foods
  • shopping


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