‘Hampers’ as an effective strategy to shift towards sustainable diets in South African low-income communities

Summary

Transitioning towards sustainable diets is imperative to avoid the worst effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and malnutrition. In South Africa, households most vulnerable to food insecurity employ various strategies to access food. These include purchasing hampers; a combination of staple foods sold in bulk at a discounted price, which are cake wheat flour, super maize meal, white sugar, cooking oil, and white parboiled rice.

We explore the barriers and opportunities for hampers to advance sustainable diets in the context of Cape Town. Our findings show hampers contain energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods. Furthermore, we find that brand loyalty plays an important role in households’ purchase of hampers. We conclude there is potential to leverage hampers to become a sustainable strategy through which people can access healthier food by working with retailers to offer nutritious and sustainably produced alternatives. Such change would require challenging retailers’ and consumers’ understanding of what ‘necessities’ are.

Information

Theme affiliation: Food
Link to centre authors: Pereira, Laura
Publication info: Coste, M., Pereira, L., Charman, A., Petersen, L., Hawkes, C. 2022. ‘Hampers’ as an effective strategy to shift towards sustainable diets in South African low-income communities. Development Southern Africa. https://doi.org/10.1080/0376835X.2022.2028605

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