Food purchasing in Brazil has undergone major changes in the last few decades caused by structural shifts such as urbanization, changes in demographic characteristics and increase in participation of women in the labor force. Therefore, it is necessary to identify thoroughly new consumption patterns of families, especially concerning determinants of food purchasing decision. The objective of this study was to understand the consumption pattern of Brazilian families for food products by means of a qualitative response variable model including eighteen food products using POF 2002/2003 data. The Probit model was chosen to estimate this decision. Estimation results showed that purchasing probabilities of staple foods were negative related to family monthly income, while meat, milk and other products showed a positive relation. Regional, educational and urbanization variables were also important. Households whose head is a woman have smaller purchasing probabilities in most commodities in the sample.


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