The impact of a healthy checkout intervention on fruit and vegetable ‘micro-pack’ purchases in New Mexico


Rogus, S.; Guthrie, J.; Niculescu, M.; Xu, L.


Objective: Produce sold as plastic-wrapped packs of two to four individual items (i.e., produce micro-packs) that are low cost and placed at checkout may appeal to shoppers with budget constraints and provide a second chance to purchase items available elsewhere in the store. This study examined the impact of an intervention that placed produce micro-packs at checkout and promoted them in grocery stores across New Mexico, USA. Design: This quasi-experimental study placed produce micro-packs at checkout end-caps in thirteen stores (group 1), with eight stores serving as controls (group 2) from 1 July 2019 through 31 January 2020 (first phase). The intervention was extended to group 2 stores from 1 February 2020 through 30 June 2020 (second phase). Cashiers were directed to upsell the micro-packs to Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children recipients who had unspent cash value benefits for produce purchases. Setting: Twenty-one grocery stores across New Mexico. Participants: Twenty-one produce items sold as micro-packs in stores from July 2019 through June 2020. Results: A random effects model showed that the daily sales of micro-packs increased by 47 % during each intervention period. Group 2 stores had lower sales than group 1 stores during the first phase of the intervention. Once extended to group 2 stores, sales of micro-packs in those stores increased and sales in group 1 stores continued at the higher level. Conclusions: Placing produce micro-packs at checkout may increase produce sales and support health promotion efforts by public and private stakeholders. © 2022 The Author(s).


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