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Abstract

An analysis of primary survey data on Thai shopping behavior seeks to understand the relative satisfaction of consumers with wet markets and supermarkets and identify the factors that affect frequency of visit to, and purchase behavior within, these retail outlets. This is used as a basis for engaging in wider debates on the ‘supermarket revolution’ in Asia. On all salient attributes affecting retail outlet choice, wet markets are perceived, in general, to be inferior to supermarkets. However for fresh produce sales, wet markets retain an advantage. Both socio-economic characteristics and retail outlet attributes are considered as determinants of food shopping behavior. Bootstrapped bivariate ordered probit models identify that those using wet markets more frequently are older and characterized by lower incomes and educational achievement. Bootstrapped bivariate Tobit models reveal that those purchasing a higher proportion of fresh produce from wet markets do so based on product quality and do not regard wet markets as lacking cleanliness. Visit data are consistent with Reardon’s model of supermarket diffusion.

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