This review looks at recently published studies (2000-2016) conducted in real-world settings on how changes in food prices can affect access, purchasing, and consumption of foods, especially healthy foods and beverages. The studies focused on individuals or stores in middle- and high-income countries, and food pricing alone or in combination with other strategies (e.g. food labeling, nutrition education). Thirty studies were included in the final review. The review finds that while there were considerable differences in how these studies were conducted and that due to this there was limited agreement in specific findings, most studies showed that pricing incentives can effectively promote the sale and consumption of healthy foods. The most common impact of pricing strategies was increased sales of healthy food, followed by improved revenues or total profits, and increased stocking of healthier foods. Overall, pricing incentives whether alone or in combination with other approaches, such as nutrition education, appeared to be successful in changing consumer behavior. There was no strong pattern to indicate that one type of pricing intervention worked better than another. Additional studies are needed to differentiate the potential impact of particular pricing strategies and policies over others, and test the combination or pricing strategies with behavioral economic strategies.
Published: November 2017
ID #: 1097
Journal: Prev Chronic Dis
Authors: Gittelsohn J, Trude ACB, Kim H