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Abstract

Purchase patterns for two types of snack foods--pretzels and popcorn, and potato, corn, and tortilla chips--were analyzed using the data from a national survey. The study examined the effect of socio-economic and lifestyle factors including nutritional awareness and exercise habits of household respondents on snack-food purchase. A geometric-hurdle count-data model that distinguished between market-participation and purchase-frequency decisions revealed that the decision to participate in the market for snack food was separate from the purchase-level decision. Pretzels and popcorn consumers were unaffected by nutrition consideration of any kind. However, respondents who were overly concerned about desirable nutritional factors were unlikely to be buyers or potential buyers of snacks such as potato, corn, and tortilla chips.

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