Is seasonal consumption a tool for food sustainability ? - Fruits and vegetables purchases in France –
Ikpidi Badji  1, 2@  , France Caillavet  3, *@  
1 : BADJI  -  Site web
Université Paris Ouest, Nanterre - La Défense Bâtiment G 200, Avenue de la République 92001 Nanterre cedex Téléphone : 33 (0) 1 40 97 59 07 -  France
2 : INRA  (ALISS)  -  Site web
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
* : Auteur correspondant

In the perspective of improving food sustainability, seasonal consumption is one of the advises given by environmental agencies. However, little is known on the seasonality of consumption patterns, on the adequacy of such an advice, and on the population targeted. This work is an attempt to analyse seasonality of purchases of fruits and vegetables of French households by using a rich data set which registers continuous purchases all over the year. The study of seasonality as intra-annual variability shows that expenditure and quantities purchased have different seasonality patterns. Comparing the importance of seasonality gaps, price (as unit values) and quantity gaps change all over the year. It cannot be said that consumption seasonality is higher than price seasonality, as in staples markets. Lastly, the impact of heterogeneity of households on purchases seasonality indicates the characteristics of the households more related to seasonal purchasing patterns. The more seasonal purchases are associated with higher age, lower education level, higher income. We find evidence of substitutions impact of own produce consumption and purchases in the production season. The most unexpected result concerns the absence of relationship with location variables, question the relationship between seasonal consumption and locally-grown products, deserving further research. 

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