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Table 1 Variable description and main descriptive statistics

From: How alternative food networks work in a metropolitan area? An analysis of Solidarity Purchase Groups in Northern Italy

Variable name Scale Mean Entropy index*
Socio-demographic characteristics
 Age 49.5 10.81**
 Gender1 2 categories (nominal variable)
 Residence 156 categories (nominal variable)
 Family size 1–5 3.1 0.64
 Education 1–5 3.6 0.49
 Employment1 2 categories (nominal variable)
 Income 1–4 2.7 0.54
Characterization of SPG consumers
 SPG attendance time 1–5 3.8 0.61
 Role inside SPG 1–4 2.0 0.55
 % food expenditure from SPG 1–4 2.9 0.57
 Motivation to participate1 5 categories (nominal variable)
Solidarity with producers/territory
 Interest in the ethical content of food 1–6 4.8 0.60
 Importance of regional origin 1–6 4.1 0.73
 Importance of municipal origin 1–6 3.6 0.78
 Importance of supplying from small producers 1–6 5.2 0.51
Economic convenience and services
 Importance of production process information 1–6 5.0 0.59
 Importance of nutrition/ingredients information 1–6 4.9 0.61
 Influence of the price during the purchase of food products 1–6 3.8 0.62
 Frequency in comparing the prices of similar products 1–6 4.0 0.67
 Importance of a wide range of similar products during purchase 1–6 3.6 0.67
 Importance of purchasing seasonal foods 1–6 5.5 0.37
 Importance to save time for food supply 1–6 4.1 0.70
 E-commerce utility for buying food 1–6 3.5 0.76
Environmental issues
 Importance of a low-impact packaging during purchases 1–6 5.1 0.53
 Awareness of water consumption with reference to agro-food production 1–6 4.7 0.63
 Awareness about carbon emissions with reference to agro-food production 1–6 4.7 0.63
 Awareness about energy consumption with reference to agro-food production 1–6 4.7 0.63
 Awareness about the use of pesticides with reference to agro-food production 1–6 5.4 0.44
 Awareness about Km0 products with reference to agro-food production 1–6 4.7 0.64
Socialization
 Pleasure during grocery shopping 1–6 4.4 0.65
 Purchase act as a socialization situation 1–6 4.2 0.70
 Importance of sharing food choices 1–6 4.4 0.65
Quality, food safety, health
 Importance that a food product is preservative-free 1–6 5.1 0.55
 Importance that a food product is organic 1–6 4.8 0.62
 Importance that a food product is fresh 1–6 5.3 0.47
 Importance that a food product is typical of Italian tradition 1–6 4.0 0.74
 Importance that a food product is GMO-free 1–6 5.3 0.49
 Importance of knowing and trusting in producers 1–6 5.3 0.47
 Propensity to buy new or unknown food products 1–6 4.5 0.63
  1. 1For these variables, see paragraph "Descriptive results"
  2. *Entropy index refers to the Shannon index and quantifies the uncertainty associated with this prediction. It is calculated as follows: \( {H}^{\prime }=-\sum \limits_{i=1}^R{p}_i{\log}_e\left({p}_i\right) \) where R corresponds to the total number of possible categories in the dataset and pi is the proportion of characters belonging to the ith category. H is equal to zero when all responses belong to a single category, and its maximum value is determined by Hmax = loge(R). When R is equal to 4, 5, and 6, Hmax is 1.39, 1.61, and 1.79, respectively. In these cases, there are uniform distributions of responses (Shannon 1948)
  3. **Standard deviation is calculated for “age” variable