STUDY: INCOME, EDUCATION IMPACT PRODUCE BUYING

WASHINGTON -- Education level, income and household size all influence the volume and variety of weekly customer produce purchases, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. ouseholds spent $3.59 per person per week on produce, compared with $5.02 per person per week in higher-income households. Lower-income consumers cited the high cost of

WASHINGTON -- Education level, income and household size all influence the volume and variety of weekly customer produce purchases, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.

ouseholds spent $3.59 per person per week on produce, compared with $5.02 per person per week in higher-income households. Lower-income consumers cited the high cost of fresh produce as the reason they did not make more purchases, but ERS said that this may indicate a misconception, since individuals could generally meet recommended daily serving requirements for less than $1 per day.

Education also played a significant role. At all income levels, households headed by college graduates purchased the most produce, at $5.99 per person per week, or $1.75 more per person than those headed by high school graduates.

The report, "Understanding Economic and Behavioral Influences on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption" appeared in Amber Waves, ERS' publication for rural farmers.