By Dr. Amelie Ramirez
Does your supermarket prominently feature unhealthy foods?
Last year, a report found that lower-calorie beverages and foods―including fruits and vegetables―drove the bulk of sales growth for supermarket chains between 2009 and 2013.
The public can sign a Salud America! and Care2 letter campaign asking grocery stores to use labels, floor arrows, and other marketing strategies to promote fruit and veggie options for Latino families.
Fruit and veggie options are critical to help kids grow up at a healthy weight.
Marketing of healthy food options, especially fruits and vegetables, is a win-win for grocers and consumers. People get better access to healthy options and grocers can increase sales of those options.
Access to, and purchases of, affordable healthy foods tends to improve when healthy food offerings are expanded and promoted in underserved communities, according to Salud America! research.
But some grocers’ marketing, placement, and store design nudges families toward unhealthy foods.
The letter campaign asks members of state grocery store associations to consider changes like these:
- Grocery Store Study: Green arrows mark way to healthier foods
- H-E-B: Nutritional logos, ingredients checkmarks and online wellness tips
- Northgate González Market: Bilingual healthy food labels
- New Vicente’s Tropical Grocery: An in-store health clinic for customers
- Cardenas: Healthier snacks at checkout lanes
- ALDI: First supermarket chain to remove junk foods from all checkouts
- Wal-Mart: New effort to promote organic, fresh produce to customers
- Raely’s Supermarket Chain: Removes name-brand sodas from its 121 stores
- Target: Replaces candy at checkout with healthier snack options
Even teens can help make this happen in grocery stores! See how six Spanish-speaking high schoolers helped mark the way to fresh food options in California to decrease the rising rates of diabetes and heart disease in their communities.
Healthier marketing isn’t just good for consumers, either.
This is a win-win for grocers and consumers; people get better access to healthy options and grocers can increase sales of those options.
People can sign the letter here: salud.to/MarketFruitVeggie.
Dr. Amelie Ramirez is director of Salud America!, creator of the SaludToday social media campaign, and a professor at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Salud America! is a Latino childhood obesity prevention network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.