Healthy Eating

Reducing the barriers to fresh, healthy foods and drinks

Healthy Neighborhood Stores

Fresh vegetable bin with a sign that says Choose Healthy

Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of many chronic diseases. The Douglas County Health Department traced data on access to healthy foods, which allowed us to identify the areas where healthy, affordable fresh food options were scarce.

Ten stores who had the existing capacity to carry healthy foods were identified and recruited to participate in the Healthy Neighborhood Store program. Its goal is to increase the availability and affordability of healthy food options by enhancing the offerings at neighborhood stores.

With support from the Nebraska Grocers Association, store owners were interviewed to better understand their business needs and educated on how to make these changes successful for them — and their customers.

Healthy Neighborhood Store Sign with Vegetables

Price, placement and promotional strategies were used to create awareness of the project, increase customer demand for healthier options, and to engage store owners. Examples of these strategies include competitive pricing, reward cards, placing healthier options at eye level, and customized promotional materials such as price tags, shelf talkers and reusable shopping bags.

Store owners also were provided branded, customized in-store and exterior signage, which encourages the purchase of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy, and lean meats.

The University of Nebraska Lincoln – Extension conducted on-site cooking demonstrations and tasting events for Healthy Neighborhood Store shoppers. During the demonstrations customers were able to sample healthy foods, learn about nutrition information and get recipes showing how to prepare these foods at home for their families.

Increased awareness has equated to increased sales. Together, Healthy Neighborhood Stores are helping put fresh, affordable healthy food choices into the hands of people — especially children — in their own neighborhoods.

Healthy Neighborhood Stores:

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