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Healthy Food Environments Pricing Incentives

Core Elements

This section outlines the aspects of an intervention that are central to its theory and logic and that are thought to be responsible for the intervention’s effectiveness. Core elements are critical features of the intervention’s intent and design and should be kept intact when the intervention is implemented or adapted.

  1. Stakeholder input and buy-in:  Secure input and buy-in from upper management, food vendors, human resources/wellness, and other critical worksite staff.  In addition, form a wellness committee to conduct formative research to better understand preferences, potential barriers, and ownership of cafeteria changes (pricing, access, and marketing), and develop an implementation and compliance plan.
  2. Nutrition Criteria/Standards:  Adopt and implement healthy food guidelines based on NCPP’s established criteria or adapt the criteria to be more stringent (NCPP guidelines are posted with the materials for this template).
  3. Procurement Specifications:  Collaborate with vendors to offer healthy food and beverage items based on the established nutrition criteria.
  4. Training for Food Service Personnel:  Provide training for food service personnel on implementation of nutrition criteria, including healthy food preparation methods and portion sizes. 
  5. Pricing Incentives:  Implement pricing incentives to encourage the purchase of healthier foods and decrease the purchase of less healthier foods.  This may take the form of increasing the cost of less healthy options while decreasing the cost of healthier options or bundling healthy food items together for a reduced price as “healthy value meals.”
  6. Marketing:  Post nutrition information at the point of service, use a uniform icon for healthy items, and position healthy items to be more prominent and accessible.
  7. Equitable Access:  Ensure that the same standards are implemented on site for all work shifts, i.e. that all shifts have access to healthy foods with a pricing incentive.