Store and neighborhood differences in retailer compliance with a local staple foods ordinance

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9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Policies to improve healthy food retail have been recognized as a potential means of reducing diet-related health disparities. The revised 2014 Minneapolis Staple Foods Ordinance instituted minimum stocking standards for healthy, staple foods. The objective of this study was to examine retailer compliance with the policy, and whether compliance varied by neighborhood and store characteristics.

METHODS: In this natural experiment, audits were conducted annually pre- and post-ordinance (2014-2017) in 155 small/nontraditional stores in Minneapolis, MN and a comparison city (St. Paul, MN). Compliance measures for 10 product categories included: (1) met requirements for ≥8 categories; (2) 10-point scale (one point for each requirement met); and (3) carried any item in each category. Store characteristics included store size and ownership status. Neighborhood characteristics included census-tract socioeconomic status and low-income/low-access status. Analyses were conducted in 2018.

RESULTS: All compliance measures increased in both Minneapolis and St. Paul from pre- to post-policy; Minneapolis increases were greater only for carrying any item in each category (p < 0.01). In Minneapolis, corporate (vs. independent) stores were generally more compliant. No differences were found by neighborhood characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall trends suggest broad movement among Minneapolis stores towards providing a minimum level of staple foods. Increases were greater in corporate stores. Trends do not suggest neighborhood-level disparities in compliance.

STUDY REGISTRATION: NCT02774330, retrospectively registered May 17, 2016.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number172
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 4 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


  • Food access
  • Neighborhood disparities
  • Policy
  • Small food store
  • Stocking standards
  • Commerce/statistics & numerical data
  • Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data
  • Minnesota
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Socioeconomic Factors

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Journal Article


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