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

Team-Spotlight

Team Spotlight

Education & Engagement

Published: December 13, 2017

This issue's team spotlight is on Linda Ellis-Johnson, co-chair of the Tulane Prevention Research Center's Community Advisory Board (CAB). Linda is a retired educator previously employed by Computer Science Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana, Indianapolis Public Schools, Orleans Parish Schools, and Jefferson Parish Public Schools. Linda holds an Associate of Arts Degree, Bachelors of English Degree, and a Masters in Guidance and Counseling. In addition to leading the Tulane PRC's CAB, she presently serves as President…

Read More

PRCs-gather-for-Annual-Grantee-Meeting

PRCs gather for Annual Grantee Meeting

Education & Engagement

Published: November 30, 2017

Collaboration and moving research into practice were the focus of the 2017 Prevention Research Centers (PRC) Program Grantee Meeting, Nov. 8-9, 2017, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. The meeting brought together academic faculty, staff, and community health workers from the 26 PRCs across the country. During the meeting, attendees learned more about the CDC’s expectations for the PRCs to disseminate and translate their research and products and then identified…

Read More

Tulane-PRC-core-project-hosts-road-race-encourages-families-to-get-movin

Tulane PRC core project hosts road race, encourages families to get movin'

Core Research Physical Activity Research

Published: November 01, 2017

Dionne Hudson was all smiles after the Movin’ for LIFE 9th Ward 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 9. As she held her son, she looked around at three generations of family members and friends and just couldn’t contain her excitement. Just a month ago, she had no idea she’d finish a 5K. Hudson said her mother and children were riding around looking for an event, and they stumbled across an advertisement for the Movin’ for…

Read More

Tulane-PRC-core-project-health-fair-draws-community-into-world-of-wellness

Tulane PRC core project health fair draws community into world of wellness

Core Research Education & Engagement

Published: November 01, 2017

With music playing and children testing their hula hoop skills, Delores Price walked from table to table at the Movin’ for LIFE 9th Ward Family Health Fair at St. Mary of the Angels Church Gym on Saturday afternoon. The New Salem Baptist Church member saw a flier at her church advertising the health fair and gathered other members to learn more about healthful eating, to sample flavorful healthy foods and engage in activity courses. “This…

Read More

Tulane-assists-in-state-healthy-vending-initiative

Tulane assists in state healthy vending initiative

Food Environment Research

Published: November 01, 2017

Vending machines on Louisiana state property are about to get healthier, thanks to efforts by Tulane University nutrition experts. Tulane staff led by Diego Rose, professor and head of the Nutrition Section at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a faculty co-investigator at the Tulane Prevention Research Center, and Brittany Kovacs, MPH, nutrition program manager, are working with state officials to implement new nutrition standards in snack and beverage vending machines…

Read More

Great-Expectations-webinar-focuses-on-healthy-weight-during-pregancy

Great Expectations: webinar focuses on healthy weight during pregancy

Education & Engagement

Published: October 31, 2017

Please join the Tulane PRC for a free webinar titled “Great Expectations: The importance of optimal maternal metabolic health during gestation” featuring: Donna Ryan, MD – Professor Emerita and interim Executive Director, Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center Leanne Redman, PhD – Associate Professor and Director of the Reproductive Endocrinology Lab at Pennington Biomedical Research Center Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT / 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET This…

Read More

Making-health-more-accessible-is-focus-of-Tulane-interns-practicum

Making health more accessible is focus of Tulane intern's practicum

Education & Engagement

Published: October 31, 2017

Interning with one of New Orleans' premiere health ambassadors, Tulane public health student Marcus Vizzutti learned the importance of community medicine and how to make healthcare and wellness more accessible and understandable for everyone. This past summer, Vizzutti, a graduate student in epidemiology, interned with the Doc Griggs Foundation and its Get checked. Get fit. Get moving!(TM) program. The internship involved Vizzutti working as a research assistant for Doc Griggs and his team which included…

Read More

Staff-Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Education & Engagement Food Environment Research

Published: October 27, 2017

This newsletter's spotlight is on Elisa Munoz-Miller, a sub-contractor at the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) and co-chair of the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee (FPAC). Elisa is working with the Tulane PRC through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to support the work of FPAC to increase healthy eating opportunities for children and families. The Tulane PRC is a founding member of FPAC, established in 2007 to address post-Katrina food access…

Read More

Tulane-PRC-presentations-at-APHA-2017

Tulane PRC presentations at APHA 2017

Core Research Special Interest Projects (SIPs)

Published: October 27, 2017

The role of spaces for physical activity and training community members in leadership and skills to address structural causes of health inequity are the topics that will be presented by Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) staff and faculty at the upcoming American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting. The meeting, held Nov. 4-8 in Atlanta, Ga., will draw more than 12,000 public health professionals, community members, researchers, and advocates from across the country and world. The…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Food Environment Research

Published: October 18, 2017

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and as soon as I think of Thanksgiving, I think of healthy eating. How is that possible? What's the connection? Well, I think about all of the foods associated with Thanksgiving that I love and that I'm NOT SUPPOSED TO EAT. Like, all kinds of pies that always seem to have a lot of sugar. Plus, the amount of food that we put on the table at Thanksgiving is…

Read More

canary