Start Date: July 2015

ID #: CAS024

Organization: University of New England

Project Lead: Michele Polacsek, PhD, MHS

See more related research


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.

Related Research

November 2017

A Supermarket Double-Dollar Incentive Program Increases Purchases of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Among Low Income Families With Children: The Healthy Double Study

This pilot study was conducted to determine whether a supermarket double-dollar fruit and vegetable (F&V) incentive increases F&V purchases among low-income families. The study was carried out in a supermarket in a low-income rural Maine community. The participants were low-income and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) supermarket customers. The participants received a same-day coupon at More

September 2022

Validating a Nutrition Ranking System for Food Pantries Using the Healthy Eating Index-2015

In 2020, charitable food organizations began adopting Healthy Eating Research (HER) nutrition guidelines, which rank individual foods in tiers (e.g., green, yellow, or red) based on each food’s nutrient profile. This study aimed to validate this HER tier-ranked system against the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI) and develop a formula to summarize the percentages of tier-ranked More

July 2022

COVID-19 relief measures and food insecurity among low-wage worker families

During the COVID-19 pandemic, record numbers of households, including nearly 14 million children, reported not having enough to eat. In response, the federal government enacted a set of far-reaching relief measures, expanding both USDA nutrition assistance programs as well as other economic safety net measures. Within a sample of low-wage workers with children, this research More