Is lack of retail competition in the grocery sector a public health issue?
Article first published online: 6 OCT 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2009 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 33, Issue 5, pages 477–481, October 2009
How to Cite
Wardle, J. and Baranovic, M. (2009), Is lack of retail competition in the grocery sector a public health issue?. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 33: 477–481. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2009.00433.x
- Issue published online: 6 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 6 OCT 2009
- Submitted: October 2008 Revision requested: January 2008 Accepted: April 2009
Objectives: The economic implications of a lack of competition in the grocery retail sector are hotly contested. However, there are also significant health implications of such anti-competitive practices that seldom receive attention. This paper hopes to draw attention to the potential public health issues that arise as a result of lack of competition in the grocery retail sector.
Method: Relevant supporting literature was reviewed to explore the possible effects of market concentration on various health outcomes.
Results: High retailer concentration may adversely affect affordability, accessibility, quality, and choice of healthy food options to consumers. In turn this has significant implications for public health.
Implications: Unless these upstream factors are addressed through the development of healthy competition, policy public health programs aimed purely at encouraging the public to consume higher quantities of healthful foods may be rendered ineffective.