Nutrition and Prev Med Essay

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Pages: 37

Retail Grocery Store Marketing Strategies and Obesity
An Integrative Review
Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, Michael D.M. Bader, PhD, Shally Iyer, MPH

Context: In-store food marketing can influence food-purchasing behaviors and warrants increased attention given the dramatic rise in obesity. Descriptive and experimental studies of key marketing components have been conducted by consumer scientists, marketing researchers, and public health experts. This review synthesizes research and publications from industry and academic sources and provides direction for developing and evaluating promising interventions. Evidence acquisition: Literature sources for the review were English-language articles published from 1995 to 2010, identifıed from multidisciplinary search indexes, backward searches of cited articles, review articles, industry reports, and online sources. Only articles that focused on physical grocery stores and food products were included. Data collection occurred in 2010 and 2011. Evidence synthesis: Articles were classifıed in the categories of product, price, placement, and promotion and divided into controlled laboratory experiments, observation, and fıeld experiments; 125 primary peer-reviewed articles met the inclusion criteria. Narrative synthesis methods were used. Key fındings were synthesized by category of focus and study design. Evidence synthesis was completed in 2011.

Conclusions: Findings suggest several strategies for in-store marketing to promote healthful eating by increasing availability, affordability, prominence, and promotion of healthful foods and/or restricting or de-marketing unhealthy foods. Key results of research in controlled laboratory studies should be adapted and tested in real-world in-store settings. Industry methods for assessing consumer behavior, such as electronic sales data and individually linked sales information from loyalty card holders, can help public health researchers increase the scientifıc rigor of fıeld studies.
(Am J Prev Med 2012;42(5):503–512) © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Context he prevalence of obesity has steadily increased for 2 decades, and addressing this problem is a national health priority.1 Increasingly, public health experts have highlighted the importance of understanding how the environments in which people


From the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Glanz), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Department of Sociology and Center on Health, Risk and Society (Bader), American University, Washington, DC; and the Community Health Program (Iver), The San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco, California Address correspondence to: Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 801 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia PA 19104. E-mail: 0749-3797/$36.00 doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.01.013

live, work, and play affect their health, including obesity-related factors.2 The role of marketing and advertising of unhealthy foods, especially to children, has also been highlighted.3 Retail grocery stores, the primary locations for food purchases, are receiving increased attention as an environment that may be ripe for public health interventions.4 Grocery stores are pivotally positioned between the public and the products they eat and are an opportune place to harness marketing power to prevent obesity. Supermarkets are strategic and critical allies in the fıght to prevent obesity.5–10 Grocery stores can provide critical opportunities to increase access to healthy foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, potentially improving health and curtailing the rise in obesity. The health effects of increasing the presence of grocery stores in disadvantaged neighborAm J Prev Med 2012;42(5):503–512 503

© 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine • Published by Elsevier Inc.


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