Employee and Customer Reactions to a Healthy In-Store Marketing Intervention in Supermarkets

Erica L. Davis, ALexis C. Wojtanowski, Stephanie Weiss, Gary D. Foster, Allison Karpyn, Karen Glanz


Supermarkets are a primary source of food for American households, and increased presence in low-income, high-minority neighborhoods present opportunities to increase access to healthy foods. It is important to assess store manager and customer reactions to in-store marketing interventions. The objective was to evaluate manager and customer reactions to stealth, low-cost, sustainable in-store marketing strategies to promote healthier purchases in five product categories and gain insight into shopping habits and willingness to change behaviors. Surveys were collected as part of the evaluation of a cluster-randomized controlled trial conducted from 2011-2012 in eight urban supermarkets in low-income, high-minority neighborhoods. Store manager (n=16) and customer intercept surveys (n=100) were administered at intervention stores in May-July 2012 and August 2012, respectively. Demographics, shopping habits, and impact were calculated using frequency distributions, cross-tabulation, and analyses of variance. Correlations were calculated using Pearson’s R or one-sided Fisher’s Exact Test. Most managers reported the project had a positive impact on stocking, ordering, staffing, and interaction with other employees. Most customers did not notice new marketing strategies, although they were intentionally stealth. A large number of customers reported making impulse purchases regularly. Opportunities to positively affect purchasing may exist.


in-store marketing, healthy food shopping, grocery stores, evaluation, supermarket

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jfr.v5n1p107


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Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0895 (Online)  E-mail: jfr@ccsenet.org

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