Start Date: July 2015

ID #: CAS024

Organization: University of New England

Project Lead: Michele Polacsek, PhD, MHS

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Currently there is much interest in incentivizing the purchase of healthier food items among lower-income populations. The purpose of this project is to pilot test a double-dollar incentive program traditionally used at farmers’ markets to increase purchases of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables in a large grocery store retail setting (Hannaford). Approximately 400 adult shoppers who live with a child under 18 years of age and regularly use the Hannaford store location will be recruited and enrolled in the study in rural Maine. Investigators will collect baseline purchasing data for all participants, then establish and collect data on both a control and an intervention group. Both groups will receive a 5 percent discount on all purchases at the participating store, and the intervention group will receive an additional “2 for the price of 1” discount on fruits and vegetables. Investigators will compare “per shopping month” fruit and vegetable sales within individuals (pre- to post-intervention) and between individuals (intervention and control) as both total sales of fruit and vegetables and as a percent of total food purchased. Findings from this research will help inform grocery retailer efforts to encourage healthier purchases.

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