Evaluation of a Supermarket Environmental Change Intervention: Findings from a Low-Fat Milk Couponing and Educational Marketing Pilot
The purpose of this study was to evaluate a multifaceted, collaborative approach to supermarket environmental change that included in-store couponing and educational marketing to increase low-fat milk purchasing across a 48-store supermarket chain serving predominately Hispanic customers. Point-of-sale (POS) and process data collected during the 16-week program implementation included in-store radio advertising, in-store signage, and POS coupons. POS data were analyzed by the coupon marketing partner, and a chi-square test was conducted to test for significant differences between groups. POS data indicated that 44,050 low-fat milk coupons were issued to traditional full-fat milk purchasing customers with a redemption rate of 5.3%. Of these, 42% became repeat low-fat milk purchasers (i.e., after initial purchase with coupon, customer re-purchased low-fat milk). Results from the chi-square test revealed significant differences in rates of purchase between those who received a coupon (5.87%) and those who did not (4.00%), (χ2 = 8.61, p = .0033). Findings indicate that collaborative public health efforts between retail and marketing partners to engage supermarket customers in a multifaceted yet targeted intervention are feasible and can shift purchasing behaviors towards a healthy alternative. This study has implications for informing future environmental change supermarket strategies.
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