Start Date: March 2019

ID #: CAS051

Organization: John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Project Lead: Joel Gittelsohn, PhD, MS

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This project will expand an existing study and test different pricing manipulation strategies for both healthy and unhealthy foods and accompanying promotional strategies in a community grocery store. The research team will introduce a series of pricing manipulation strategies on a monthly basis. For each food item, they will identify two healthy and two unhealthy brands with similar baseline prices, and manipulate the price of one of each healthy and unhealthy brands while keeping the other two items consistent with baseline prices. They will use at least 100 different foods/beverages for the price manipulations throughout the trial. The research team will also implement pricing awareness strategies. The grocery store will provide weekly itemized sales data for the foods/beverages targeted in the intervention at the time points before, during, and after the interventions. The research team will also collect and compare monthly price data on 100+ tracked foods and beverages at the intervention grocery store and its competitors in a 1-mile radius. They will also collect purchasing data from customers through the grocery store’s loyalty card system and customer sociodemographic data through a survey (n=150). Analysis will include: change in unit sales of products associated with specific price manipulations from baseline to the end of each intervention month; changes in the purchasing of healthy versus unhealthy foods before and after each pricing manipulation on a monthly basis; dollars spent/units purchased of the food items; Healthy Eating Index changes in purchased foods; and change in the total number of store customers and sales revenues.

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