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Healthy Food Environments Pricing Incentives

Resources Required

Staff:  It is essential that a multi-disciplinary wellness team within the worksite is assembled to assist with the planning, implementation, and maintenance of a healthy food environment, including the pricing policy. 

There are several components to implementation, so members of the wellness team may take the lead for different responsibilities. For example, the Food Service Director may be responsible for working with the food vendor to determine the pricing points for the healthier (reduced price) and less healthier (increased price) items. 

There does not need to be a designated full-time equivalent position for the work as it is carried out by the wellness team.  While it will vary at each worksite, the anticipated hours invested in planning, implementation, and maintenance are as follows (actual work is described in Implementation section):

Planning:                    2 hours/week for approximately three months

Implementation:          4 hours/week for three months

Maintenance:              1 hour/week ongoing to evaluate and sustain the program

Training:  Worksites interested in implementing this intervention may benefit from training in menu redesign, pricing incentives, point-of-decision marketing, and communication to staff and visitors regarding changes in practices.  NC Prevention Partners works with foundations, state and local stakeholders to provide the community and business sectors access to assessments, implementation tools, and trainings on nutrition, physical activity and tobacco worksite wellness policies through their WorkHealthy America initiative.  (See contact information under Additional Information.)

Materials:   The primary materials include items for marketing, such as developing/using an icon to identify healthy items and posting nutrition information.  The cost to develop an icon varies.  The cost is nothing/minimal if using an existing icon (many hospitals have their own wellness icon; NCPP offers the use of a no-cost healthy food icon).  There is a modest cost to design a new icon, including contracting with a graphic artist and signage costs.  Printing and posting nutrition information at the point of selection can vary and depends on how customers currently receive menu information.  Some worksites use paper/print methods and others display information on a large television or computer monitor screen.

Other Costs:  There may be initial costs to reimburse any loss of revenue due to price changes if this is negotiated as part of a contract with the food vendor.  However, in worksites that have implemented the pricing policy, there is typically a leveling out or increase in sales within one year of implementation.