A model depicting the retail food environment and customer interactions: Components, outcomes, and future directions

Megan R. Winkler, Shannon N. Zenk, Barbara Baquero, Elizabeth Anderson Steeves, Sheila E. Fleischhacker, Joel Gittelsohn, Lucia A. Leone, Elizabeth F. Racine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The retail food environment (RFE) has important implications for dietary intake and health, and dramatic changes in RFEs have been observed over the past few decades and years. Prior conceptual models of the RFE and its relationships with health and behavior have played an important role in guiding research; yet, the convergence of RFE changes and scientific advances in the field suggest the time is ripe to revisit this conceptualization. In this paper, we propose the Retail Food Environment and Customer Interaction Model to convey the evolving variety of factors and relationships that convene to influence food choice at the point of purchase. The model details specific components of the RFE, including business approaches, actors, sources, and the customer retail experience; describes individual, interpersonal, and household characteristics that affect customer purchasing; highlights the macro-level contexts (e.g., communities and nations) in which the RFE and customers behave; and addresses the wide-ranging outcomes produced by RFEs and customers, including: population health, food security, food justice, environmental sustainability, and business sustainability. We believe the proposed conceptualization helps to (1) provide broad implications for future research and (2) further highlight the need for transdisciplinary collaborations to ultimately improve a range of critical population outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7591
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The proposed model in this paper was prepared by The Healthy Food Retail Working Group leadership team. The Healthy Food Retail Working Group is a US collaboration of over 150 researchers and stakeholders jointly supported by Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN), which is supported by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. The Healthy Food Retail Working Group holds bimonthly webinars on retail food topics and convenes smaller sub-groups to explore topics in further depth and develop collaborative research, practice, or policy projects.

Funding Information:
Funding: All of the authors are on the leadership team of the Healthy Food Retail Working Group, jointly supported by Healthy Eating Research (HER), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN). NOPREN is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 5U48DP00498–05 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Prevention Research Centers Program. All authors receive a stipend from HER for their leadership role with the working group. Support for MRW’s effort was provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), grant number K99HL144824 (Principal Investigator: MRW). Publication fees were supported by Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the HER, RWJF, NOPREN, CDC, or NHLBI.

Keywords

  • Dietary intake
  • Environment
  • Food purchasing behavior
  • Grocery store
  • Restaurant
  • Retail

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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