A Theory of Grocery Shopping

A Theory of Grocery Shopping: Food, Choice and Conflict

by Shelley L. Koch

Shelley L. Koch is Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology and Assistant Director of the Masters of Arts program in Community and Organizational Leadership at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia, USA. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Berg, 2012
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-0-85785-153-6 (epub)

    978-1-35004-210-0 (online)

    978-0-85785-151-2 (paperback)

    978-0-8578-5150-5 (hardback)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
A Theory of Grocery Shopping
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Grocery shopping is an often ignored part of the story of how food ultimately gets to our pantry shelves and tables.

A Theory of Grocery Shopping explores the social organization of grocery shopping by linking the lived experience of grocery shoppers and retail managers in the US with information transmitted by nutritionists, government employees, financial advisors, journalists, health care providers and marketers, who influence the way we think about and perform the work of shopping for a household's food.

The author provides insight into the contradictory messages that shape how consumers provision their households, and details how consumers respond to these messages. The book challenges the consumer choice model that places responsibility on the shopper for making the “right” choice at the grocery store, thereby ignoring the larger social forces at work, which determine what products are available and how they get to the shelves.