Food retail is a key setting that influences the diets and health of children and families. The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store (e.g., rural vs. urban or low vs. high-income neighborhoods) as well as by store type (e.g., supercenters/big box stores, grocery stores, corner stores, online food shopping, etc.). Research in this area focuses on investigating strategies to improve the availability, accessibility, affordability, and demand for healthier products within the food retail setting.

Research & Publications See all

April 2022

A click too far from fresh foods: A mixed methods comparison of online and in-store grocery behaviors among low-income households

A recent policy in the U.S. authorized monthly benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to be used online to increase grocery access and promote healthy eating. This study examined online grocery attitudes and purchasing behaviors among low-income SNAP-eligible households with young children with and without online grocery experience. An explanatory sequential mixed methods More

February 2022

The Impact of a Pricing Manipulation Intervention on Food Sales in a Small Community Grocery Store in Baltimore City

This study tested a pricing manipulation strategy in a small grocery store to assess the impact on food sales. The prices of 35 healthy foods were decreased over time while simultaneously increasing the prices of 45 unhealthy foods. Trends in sales were examined across each manipulation period. Total sales of healthy foods remained relatively stable More

January 2022

An Equity-oriented Systematic Review of Online Grocery Shopping Among Low-income Populations: Implications for Policy and Research

Online grocery services are an emerging component of the food system with the potential to address disparities in access to healthy food. We assessed the barriers and facilitators of equitable access to healthy foods in the online grocery environment, and the psychosocial, purchasing, and dietary behaviors related to its use among low-income, diverse populations. Four More

January 2022

Increasing Healthy Food Access for Low-Income Communities: Protocol of the Healthy Community Stores Case Study Project

Improving healthy food access in low-income communities continues to be a public health challenge. One strategy for improving healthy food access has been to introduce community food stores, with the mission of increasing healthy food access; however, no study has explored the experiences of different initiatives and models in opening and sustaining healthy food stores. More