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

Coste, M., Pereira, L., Charman, A. , Petersen, L. & Hawkes, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-5091-878X (2022). 'Hampers' as an effective strategy to shift towards sustainable diets in South African low-income communities. Development Southern Africa, 40(2), pp. 350-372. doi: 10.1080/0376835x.2022.2028605


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.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Hampers, food security, sustainable food systems, Cape Town, food retail
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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