Food and beverage purchases in corner stores, gas-marts, pharmacies and dollar stores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: Little is known about customer purchases of foods and beverages from small and non-traditional food retailers (i.e. corner stores, gas-marts, dollar stores and pharmacies). The present study aimed to: (i) describe customer characteristics, shopping frequency and reasons for shopping at small and non-traditional food retailers; and (ii) describe food/beverage purchases and their nutritional quality, including differences across store type. Design: Data were collected through customer intercept interviews. Nutritional quality of food/beverage purchases was analysed; a Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) score for purchases was created by aggregating participant purchases at each store. Setting: Small and non-traditional food stores that were not WIC-authorized in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, USA. Subjects: Customers (n 661) from 105 food retailers. Results: Among participants, 29 % shopped at the store at least once daily; an additional 44 % shopped there at least once weekly. Most participants (74 %) cited convenient location as the primary draw to the store. Customers purchased a median of 2262 kJ (540 kcal), which varied by store type (P=0·04). The amount of added sugar far surpassed national dietary recommendations. At dollar stores, participants purchased a median of 5302 kJ (1266 kcal) for a median value of $US 2·89. Sugar-sweetened beverages were the most common purchase. The mean HEI-2010 score across all stores was 36·4. Conclusions: Small and non-traditional food stores contribute to the urban food environment. Given the poor nutritional quality of purchases, findings support the need for interventions that address customer decision making in these stores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2587-2597
Number of pages11
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Authors 2016.


  • Corner store
  • Customer purchases
  • Food retail


Dive into the research topics of 'Food and beverage purchases in corner stores, gas-marts, pharmacies and dollar stores'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this