New-research-shows-profitability-of-healthy-changes-in-corner-stores-

New research shows profitability of healthy changes in corner stores

Fresh fruits and vegetables are not always on the grocery list when on a trip to the neighborhood corner store, in large part because many corner store owners don't stock produce thinking they aren't as profitable as the longer-shelf-life snack foods and beverages.

However, fruits and vegetables may be more profitable for corner stores than was once thought, according to a study by the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) recently published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. Additionally, promotions for fruits and vegetables may also be key in driving their sales.

In order to determine the profitability of fresh produce, one neighborhood store in New Orleans underwent small changes in April 2010. The store was supplied with a produce cooler and provided with promotional activities, like postcards mailed to residents, taste-testings outside the store, and announcements through local organizations, to let the neighborhood know about the store's new food offerings.

Analyzing store sales data before and after the changes, the researchers found that produce accounted for a greater percentage of gross store profits (3%) than energy-dense snack foods (2%), including salty snacks, candy, cookies, and pastries combined.

Additionally, a customer survey found that those who had been exposed to one or more promotions about the changes were much more likely to have noticed the cooler than those who were not exposed to one of the promotional activities. Specifically, 80% of those exposed to a promotional component noticed the cooler versus 49% of those who were not exposed. According to the average monthly inventory before and after the changes in the store, there was a 21% increase in the number of fresh fruits and vegetables displayed.

"The biggest take away from this paper is the profitability of produce and that the multiple components of the intervention – installation of the cooler, promotional items and activities – together could encourage store owners to promote and stock healthier items," said Lauren Dunaway, one of the study's authors and a former program manager at the Tulane PRC.

The study authors said their work suggests that corner stores that supply fresh healthy foods could be increasing their profitability while at the same time improving access to healthy foods.

"The findings of the profitability of produce could be used by organizations working in neighborhoods to improve food access," said Dunaway. "Not only is the increased availability of fruits and vegetables important for the health of the community, but also has the potential to benefit their neighborhood businesses."

While the study examined only one store's profits, the findings are an in-depth exploration into the potential for other corner stores to alter shelf spaces and food offerings. The authors suggest that more research needs to be conducted on the profitability of fruits and vegetables in other parts of the country, both rural and urban. Additionally, items such as tobacco, beer and sodas are still some of the most profitable and prolific items in corner stores. In order to change that, more needs to be done to advocate and educate for healthier options.

By Iman Naim, Tulane PRC graduate assistant
December 2016

(Photo: Tulane PRC image of store assessments)

Topics:   food environment , diet , nutrition , community health , health communication

Other Related Posts

Tulane-PRC-surveys-people-using-and-crossing-Lafitte-Greenway-linear-park

Tulane PRC surveys people using and crossing Lafitte Greenway linear park

Education & Engagement Physical Activity Research

Published: June 30, 2018

As New Orleans moves toward 'complete streets', organizations are taking a closer look at non-motorized transportation. More bicycle lanes and walking paths are being installed throughout the city so it is important that pedestrians, cyclists and motorists interact with each other safely. Over the past year, a Tulane team of faculty, staff, and students, have been studying safety and use along the Lafitte Greenway, one of these multi-use paths. The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile…

Read More

Resilience-building-is-transferable-in-communities-after-a-disaster

Resilience-building is transferable in communities after a disaster

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Many recent high profile natural disasters have increased the urgency of need for successful examples of how to address behavioral health concerns in recovering communities. That's exactly what a diverse team of community health researchers recently examined in Case Study of Resilient Baton Rouge: Applying Depression Collaborative Care and Community Planning to Disaster Recovery. The article, e-published in the June issue of International Journal of Environmental and Public Health illustrates how in the context of…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Core Research Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

By September 30th of this year, we will begin the final year of funding for the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) in this 5-year cycle. It is difficult to believe that so much time has gone by so fast. It seems like just yesterday that all of the PRC faculty and staff were frantically involved in the preparation of the grant proposal for funding for the current cycle. We have done so much and made…

Read More

Community-Partner-Updates

Community Partner Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

See what our Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and partners have been up to recently! Click on the photo for a gallery of pictures, and read below for related updates. To find out more about our partners, click here to visit our Community Partners page. Brinton Family Health and Healing Center Photo 1-6 Tulane School of Medicine's Brinton Family Health and Healing Center has been staying busy with their regular wellness programming, including Krewe de…

Read More

Legislative-Updates

Legislative Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Tulane PRC goes to DC Jeanette Gustat, Tulane PRC faculty and Royliene Johnson, Community Service Director at Caffin Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church and Tulane PRC partner, took a trip to D.C. and met up with representatives from Dartmouth University and University of North Carolina's Prevention Research Centers to educate policymakers and national stakeholder groups on the value of the PRC network."We [PRCs] serve as the link between research and communities, clinics and communities. It is…

Read More

Staff-Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Keelia O'Malley, MPH, is the assistant director at the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC). Her responsibilities include supervision of PRC staff, coordination of programs and relationships with community advisory board members and partner organizations, and assisting the director in identifying and implementing PRC activities within all of the key elements of the center. Keelia is a graduate of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where she received her Master in Public Health…

Read More

Active-Steps-5-Exercises-to-Keep-You-Active-While-Beating-the-Summer-Heat

Active Steps: 5 Exercises to Keep You Active While Beating the Summer Heat

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Summer means warm, humid temperatures that make being outside for more than a few minutes sometimes unbearable. Staying active is important year-round, so regardless of the summer heat, finding ways to keep moving and stay active is key. If it's too hot outdoors to get moving, try doing these 5 exercises indoors. These exercises can be performed outside as well. Regardless of being indoors or outdoors, remember to stay hydrated and always listen to your…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Summer-Food-Safety

Nutrition Bites: Summer Food Safety

Education & Engagement

Published: June 30, 2018

Summertime is a season full of outdoor fun and picnics! Barbecues are a popular way to celebrate the season. Even though eating outside is a nice way to take advantage of warmer weather, it is also when bacteria thrive and are more likely to contaminate food. The most common ways that food becomes infected with bacteria at picnics is by leaving food out uncovered, not cooking food to the proper temperatures, and cross-contamination of raw…

Read More

NOLA-LEADs-finds-positive-results-from-citizen-training-program-

NOLA LEADs finds positive results from citizen-training program

Education & Engagement Special Interest Projects (SIPs)

Published: April 10, 2018

Anyone can be a health leader and improve their community, if given the right tools and skills. That’s what the Tulane Prevention Research Center's two-year NOLA LEADs (Leadership Education & Action on health Disparities) citizen-training project has found since completing its work. Keeping with the project's goal of helping all who are concerned about improving the lives of their neighbors and the conditions of their communities, the team has put together a one-page summary to…

Read More

Closing-the-policymaking-gap-Tackling-barriers-to-improving-public-health-in-Louisiana

Closing the policymaking gap: Tackling barriers to improving public health in Louisiana

Education & Engagement

Published: April 08, 2018

When attempting to address Louisiana's consistently low rankings in national health reports, public health professionals can have a positive influence on the policy-making process through research and education, according to recently published work from the Tulane public health researchers. From 2013 to 2014, a team of faculty and staff at the Tulane Nutrition Program and Tulane Prevention Research Center explored strategies for improving public health in Louisiana by conducting policy research and educating lawmakers. The…

Read More

canary