The increasing search for healthy habits implies an increasing demand for vegetables. Vegetables are found in many market segments such as retail shops, supermarkets and street markets. Little information exists about the importance of street markets in the daily life of people and their buying habits in the northern region of Minas Gerais state. The objective of this study was to analyze the socioeconomic characteristics of vegetable consumers at street markets in Chapada Gaucha, Itacarambi, Januaria and Manga counties, in the microregion Januaria, located on the north of Minas Gerais state, Brazil. A hundred and seven questionnaires were administred according to the volume of people attending each fair at the moment. A majority of women consumers, not retired and younger than 54 years old, this data being observed at Chapada Gaucha with a frequency of 100%. People stated to go to the street markets every week to buy vegetables due to product quality and tradition, not using price as a criterion of choice. Most of consumers in Itacarambi and Januaria reported spending more than US$17.00 on the street markets, whereas in Manga and Chapada Gaucha they spent between US$6.00 and US$11.00. The women proved to be the major buyers at the street markets studied. The product offered without pesticides and chemical fertilizers creates trust and loyalty of consumers. A preference for purchasing certain species at the street markets was noticed. Species such as broccoli and cauliflower were mentioned by the interviewers not to be found frequently at street markets in the region, indicating opportunities to diversify production.
vegetables; market; income.