Title page for ETD etd-12272009-222007

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Holmes, Ashley Shannon
Author's Email Address holmesas@vt.edu
URN etd-12272009-222007
Title A Grocery Store Intervention Designed to Increase Fruit, Vegetable, and Healthy Snack Purchases among Parents of Young Children
Degree Master of Science
Department Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Serrano, Elena L. Committee Chair
Davis, George C. Committee Member
Estabrooks, Paul A. Committee Member
  • healthy eating
  • marketing
  • food
  • child
  • sales
Date of Defense 2009-12-16
Availability restricted
Objective: The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a 12-week multi-faceted, child-focused intervention that included a point-of-purchase kiosk featuring fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy grab-and-go snacks; and a sampling pod, comprised of food items from the kiosk.

Design: An observational uninterrupted time-series design was used in one intervention grocery store. The intervention consisted of two components, a Healthy Kids Kiosk and food sampling.

Subjects/Setting: Patrons of Ukrop’s Inc. Grocery store in Roanoke, Virginia. May-September 2009

Measures: The study measures consist of three components: 1) examination of changes in sales data for featured products, provided by the grocery chain; 2) candid, unobtrusive, blind observations of customers near and around the intervention; and 3) brief questionnaires of customers, who engaged at some level with the Kiosk and sampling pod.

Results: The results yielded an overall increase in the proportion of the sales of the featured items to total store sales during the intervention period. Individual items that increased sales during the intervention period, included whole-wheat mini bagels, bananas, radishes, honey, sunflower, baked tortilla chips, and almond butter (p<.05). Parents whose children were arguing, crying/whining, or not in the shopping cart, had higher levels of engagement with the kiosk. Almost two-thirds (61.7%) of the patrons interviewed noticed the healthy kids kiosk, with about one-quarter (28.7%) indicating that they purchased at least one item. Fifty-eight percent reported that the kiosk encouraged them to buy healthier foods.

Conclusion: Promoting healthy foods at point-of purchase locations can result in increased purchases of these foods among families with young children.

Application: These findings have provided insight into the effectiveness of grocery store interventions on purchasing patterns and behaviors of families with young children.

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