Convergence or Divergence in Food Demand: Comparison of Trends in the EU and North America
Whether food demand is "converging" is tested in two ways. First, the convergence of food expenditures among 18 high-income countries is examined from 1990 to 2004. Convergence is apparent in total expenditures, cereals, and meats, even after correcting for differences in income and levels of protection. Second, specific food retailing and product introduction patterns are examined for the US, Canada, and four northern European countries for the past two decades. These show increasing shares for retail outlets selling standardized products, and increased preference for convenience, upscale, and natural product attributes across all six countries.
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