Rural independent and corporate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-authorized store owners’ and managers’ perceived feasibility to implement marketing-mix and choice-architecture strategies to encourage healthy consumer purchases


Houghtaling, B.; Serrano, E.; Dobson, L.; Chen, S.; Kraak, V.I.; Harden, S.M.; Davis, G.C.; Misyak, S.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants could benefit from exposure to marketing-mix and choice-architecture (MMCA) strategies that encourage healthy consumer purchases. However, the perceived feasibility of independent and corporate SNAP-authorized store owners and managers (e.g., retailers) to implement healthy MMCA strategies is understudied. The purpose of this study was to inform a healthy food retail program that meets both public health and business expectations by prioritizing retailer perspectives. A mixed methods approach was used. Retailers completed a card sorting exercise to determine perceived feasibility to implement MMCA strategies place, profile, portion, pricing, promotion, priming, prompting, and proximity. This process was audio-recorded. Chi-square was used to identify potential differences in perceived feasibility to implement healthy MMCA strategies between independent and corporate SNAP-authorized retailers. Qualitative data were coded among a panel to construct themes. Themes were organized by barriers and facilitators and coded for strategy acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility. SNAP-authorized retailers' (n = 29) considered prompting (e.g., labeling; 83%) and proximity (e.g., location; 90%) strategies to encourage healthy consumer purchases highly feasible. Few differences were detected between independent and corporate retailers' perceived feasibility to implement healthy MMCA strategies. The largest barriers to implementing healthy MMCA strategies were related to strategy appropriateness. Priorities for healthy food retail initiatives included prompting and proximity changes that highlight products aligned with the DGA, without altering products available to consumers that are misaligned with the DGA. Future work is required to understand how other healthy MMCA strategies may be adapted to enhance their appropriateness for these settings. © 2019 Society of Behavioral Medicine. All rights reserved.