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Healthy Cornerstore Initiative Produce Distribution System

Underlying Theory/Evidence

Strategies Used: The Healthy Cornerstore Initiative is based on the following evidence-based strategies related to healthy eating:

  • Changing access and availability to favor healthy foods and beverages. The Healthy Cornerstore Initiative is designed to improve access and availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in WIC-authorized small stores.  By establishing a supply chain system that allows cornerstores to order produce through their prime distributors and in smaller quantities, the Healthy Cornerstore Initiative made it easy for cornerstores to offer their customers a variety of fresh produce.
  • Food and beverage marketing to favor healthy foods and beverages.  One part of the Healthy Cornerstore Iniative is marketing the fresh produce being sold in cornerstores.  IATP and the MN Department of Health WIC Program developed and disseminated a retail promotion program to advertise the availability of, and increase the sale of, fresh produce.  The retail program includes point-of-sale purchase materials in four languages (English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong).  While this marketing is designed to specifically encourage the purchase of fresh produce, exposure to the images and messages is likely to also increase positive attitudes toward these products.
  • Point-of-purchase and point-of-decision labeling to favor healthy foods and beverages.  In the case of the Healthy Cornerstore Initiative, stores were encouraged to use signage to draw attention to their produce and make sure that WIC participants know they can use their WIC benefits to purchase WIC-approved produce.  The signage provided included “shelf talkers” specifically designed for coolers, shelves, or produce baskets.  The majority of those interviewed (74%) reported using the signage, and among those, about three-fourths reported that they felt the signs helped to attract attention and increase awareness.