SNAP participants value nutrition, but taste and storage qualities matter, too

SNAP participants value nutrition, but taste and storage qualities matter, too

Taste rules when it comes to food shopping, according to responses gathered in the Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey module of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Respondents in all three groups analyzed—participants in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), other low-income consumers, and higher-income consumers—ranked taste as the most important factor when buying food from a grocery store. Nutrition was also important to the majority of shoppers, with SNAP and other low-income consumers more likely to rate it “very important” than higher-income consumers. SNAP respondents were also more likely to rank additional attributes, including price, convenience, and how well food keeps, as “very important” than higher-income adults. How well a product keeps was the second most highly-rated attribute among SNAP respondents, a group which typically has less easy access to food stores. This chart appears in “SNAP Households Must Balance Multiple Priorities to Achieve a Healthful Diet” in the November 2014 issue of ERS's Amber Waves magazine.


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