Longitudinal fruit and vegetable sales in small food retailers: Response to a novel local food policy and variation by neighborhood socioeconomic status

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Small food retailers, including corner/convenience stores, pharmacies, gas-marts, and dollar stores, have historically stocked limited fruits and vegetables, though this may be changing. We examined increases in sales, customer purchasing, and stocking of fresh and/or frozen fruits and vegetables in small food stores over time and in relation to: (a) a local food policy (the Minneapolis Staple Foods Ordinance) and (b) neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES). We used longitudinal data (2014–2017) from 147 randomly-sampled stores in Minneapolis/St. Paul, USA, collected using interviewer-administered manager surveys (measuring sales and stocking) and customer intercepts/observations (measuring purchasing, n = 3039). The local policy required Minneapolis stores to meet minimum stocking standards for fresh/frozen produce and other healthy foods. No ordinance existed in St. Paul. Mixed regression models examined overall change over time and change by city and neighborhood SES. We observed significant increases over time (p < 0.05) in sales and purchasing of fresh fruit and in stocking of fresh fruit, frozen fruit, and frozen vegetables. We did not identify consistent statistical evidence for differential change in sales, purchasing, or stocking by city or neighborhood SES. Key study findings suggest limited differential effects of the local ordinance and/or neighborhood SES. However, findings also indicate significant time trends for some products, including consistent improvements in sales, customer purchasing, and stocking of fresh fruit. Given the ready-to-eat convenience of many fresh fruits and their broad appeal, fresh fruit appears a promising target for advancing the healthfulness of small food retailers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5480
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01DK104348 (Principal Investigator: M.N.L.); and the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Center supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U48DP005022 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Principal Investigator: M.N.L.). The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) supported data management under Award Number UL1TR000114. The APC and MRW’s effort was provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, grant number K99HL144824 (Principal Investigator: M.R.W.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01DK104348 (Principal Investigator: M.N.L.); and the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Center supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U48DP005022 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Principal Investigator: M.N.L.). The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) supported data management under Award Number UL1TR000114. The APC and MRW?s effort was provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, grant number K99HL144824 (Principal Investigator: M.R.W.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Acknowledgments: We would like acknowledge Kristen Klingler, Nora Gordon and their colleagues at the Minneapolis Health Department for their continuous partnership and support on this work. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the extensive efforts of those who assisted with data acquisition, management, and coding, including Lisa Harnack, Stacey Moe, Pamela Carr-Manthe, Jennifer Pelletier, and Bill Baker, as well as the many data collectors who were involved in this effort. Finally, we would like to thank the retailers and customers who generously participated in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Corner stores
  • Customer purchases
  • Food policy
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Healthy food availability
  • Neighborhood socioeconomic status
  • Store managers

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