Skip to comments.USDA Suggests Changes to Grocery Stores to ‘Nudge’ Consumers to Eat Healthy
Posted on 07/16/2014 7:52:08 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to nudge Americans to purchase healthier foods when they shop.
The agency commissioned an “expert panel” to make recommendations on how to guide the more than 47 million Americans on food stamps into spending their benefits on fruits and vegetables.
The group released an 80-page report this month presenting their ideas, which include talking shopping carts and a marketing strategy for grocery chains that would feature better store lighting for healthier items.
Most Americans, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, do not purchase enough whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and legumes, and purchase too many items with excess calories from fats and added sugars, the report said.
At the same time, the food retail environment is saturated with food marketing messages, including health and nutrition claims and information, advertisements, and promotions for many unhealthy food items, it said.
Initial suggestions from the USDA on how to alter the grocery environment include stores offering SNAP-Ed cooking classes and consultations with dieticians.
In this approach, the supermarket is the classroom and shoppers receive support on how to maximize their healthy choices using products retailers promote via the weekly store circular, the report said.
Another idea included a point-based system where food stamp recipients could receive movie tickets in exchange for healthy food purchases. Grocery store staff could also be used as ambassadors for the USDAs agenda.
In this role, floor staff has the ability to re-direct consumer purchase towards more healthful choices by explaining the incentive or the nutrition labeling system, the report said.
The USDA said the ideas are intended to change the choice architecture of the food retail environment to make healthier choices more prominent, which is in line with first lady Michelle Obamas stated second term agenda to impact the nature of food in grocery stores.
These strategies, in particular, draw on principles of behavioral economics to nudge consumers towards healthier choices, the report said.
The panel came up with six preferred strategies: discount coupons for SNAP recipients; rebates of up to $60 for healthy purchases on EBT cards; buy one get one free deals for SNAP recipients; a targeted marketing plan to promote healthy food; a USDA loyalty card; and new specialized shopping carts.
The MyCart grocery cart would provide dividers for shoppers to make sure they are selecting enough items in each MyPlate category, the USDAs food icon.
MyCart is a nonfinancial approach that would use behavioral economics to encourage healthier purchases by any consumer, including SNAP participants, the report said.
The cart would be color-coded, physically divided, and have a system installed so that when the shopping cart reaches its healthy threshold it would congratulate the customer.
The algorithm would group the purchases to classify them using the MyPlate designations and to provide consumers with a message of support or encouragement (e.g., You achieved a MyCart healthy shopping basket!), the report said.
The panel based this approach on a $999,891 government-funded study entitled Nudging Nutrition, arguing the research suggests an intervention of this sort might be successful in modifying consumer shopping behavior.
To accompany the approach, a MyCart shelf tag could be created to identify healthier items on shelves, the report said. Consumers could be guided to healthier choices through the use of visual displays and other signage, including ceiling banners, refrigerator and freezer door clings, and shelf talkers.
The report estimated that implementing the new carts would cost roughly $30,000 for every store. The change would be costly. For instance, Safeway, Inc. would need to spend $40.05 million to introduce the carts at its 1,335 stores in the U.S.
The panel concluded that it was somewhat unlikely that SNAP recipients would not be able to easily understand the new shopping carts.
Two approaches the report cited as the most promising and easy to implement were offering discount coupons for food stamp recipients and creating a targeted marketing strategy for groceries to promote healthier items.
The marketing approach would change how groceries stock and display their items. Retailers would use signage, lighting, and placement to make fruits, vegetables, and healthy fare more appealing to consumers.
The principle of self-attribution suggests that when an individual perceives they have the ability to freely choose between options, they are more likely to be satisfied with the choice they make, the report said. Using this principle, positioning healthier items for increased salience can support consumers choosing healthier options.
Supermarkets would be encouraged to create healthy aisles, and place foods with higher healthy ratings in more visible retail space. The report suggested that stores change their healthy promotions over time so consumers do not become bored or ignore them.
The USDA also recommended standards for how shelves should be stocked. For example: at least half of all shelf space in the dairy case should be allocated for low-fat or skim milk.
Following the report, the two preferred strategiesoffering discount coupons for healthy food and changes to store marketingwill be examined in pilot studies. The USDA envisions that supermarkets, superstores, small grocers, specialty stores, and farmers markets would adopt changes in the future through an agency program.
Nanny State PING!
GET OUT OF MY LIFE!
Safeway, Inc. would need to spend $40.05 million to introduce the carts at its 1,335 stores in the U.S.
this cost of course would be covered by OBAMA-MONEY from “Obama’s Private Stash...”
“Set me free why dontcha Babe
Get out of my Life..why dontcha Babe
you dont really love us
you just keep us hanging on”
Please come back into our lives again. The vacuum that results from Your not being there invites all these hideous idols.
And the Nanny NAZIS return. Isn’t an all loving (hateful) large Federal Government Grand!? I am sure glad that we love progress..
No other action is required.
This is what happens when the government believe they are paying for your Healthcare - they then think they have the right to tell you how to live and eventually how to die.
Nudge? This sounds like a Cass Sunstein idea.
They want y’all eating Monsanto’s GMO faux vegetables.
Neonicotinoids will kill you, but they appear to have the greatest impacts of illness on us.
Do not buy vegetables whose PLU starts in 8****, they are full of genetically modified insecticides.
No, I am not crazy.
Ask Michael Taylor, former head of Monsanto, #2 at the FDA for the last 6 years.
The idea is that if da gummint be paying the food bill, then they’re entitled to micromanage:
Saaaay, if we’re headed to socialized medicine WHY don’t f*ggots have to pay a higher insurance premium cuz of HIV treatment..?
In the system we’re headed towards, straight people will be robbed to SUBSIDIZE f*ggotry.
Sorry, but it’s the same principle.
WHERE does this end? IT DOES NOT.
Leave me the hell alone. You have government schoolswhat are they learning there? Now you need another program to re-educate the individuals who never learned anything in the government schools.
Why the hell have government schools in the first place? This country has become a government of the government, by the government and for the government. The ones who do not need the government, never taken a government check in their life, have suddenly become the slave ant the enemy. I am proud to count myself in that number. John 8:32.
I think that this monstrous government arrogance calls for one of your blinking-eyes gifs. :-)
You might start talking accurately to begin with. There is no such thing as a genetically modified insecticide.
I don't think you are allowed to buy healthy items with the EBT cards, because I have never seen anybody where I shop do so.
Sorry Nanny Staters. This just isn't going to happen. Ain't gonna happen. Your "expert panel" could have better spent their time and the tax payers' money playing with their navel lint.
They should just put smiley face stickers on good, healthy foods and put frowny face stickers on bad, unhealthy foods.
When is Soylent Green going to be forced on us?
I was in a health care meeting at work last week. It was announced that every employee will have blood drawn on the premises to determine nicotine levels. It was also announced that premiums would triple for those who had nicotine in their blood. One twenty something woman said’I smoke and I don’t think it is the company’s business if I want to smoke’. And I’m thinking ‘those who wanted the government to be in charge of their health care must not have realized that the government would be dictating their behaviors now’. I fear it’s too late to return to our Best Medical Care in the World.
Thanks for the ping!
Simply the first steps in telling us what to eat, and how we should eat. After all, Since the government has a vested interest in our overall health, it’s only natural that they approve of what and how we eat.
I agree. Separation of school and state should solve some of the crap.
I’d be ok with SNAP regulation that says welfare can only be spent on raw unprocessed foods: fruits vegetables nuts meat milk eggs fish rice beans flour sugar and salt. Maybe dried pastas and loaves of bread, coffee and tea. Beyond that what does one need to live for food?
It won't sell and the balance of the shelf space will be emptied frequently while the recommended stuff goes to waste. Cooling the additional product destined to be wasted will cost as much as cooling what sells, stocking and restocking the stuff that doesn't sell will require nearly as many man hours as stocking and restocking what sells, so costs go up and waste is deliberately introduced into what is now a self-correcting efficient allocation of resources.
Before you know it there will be recommendations for reducing the size of stores because they waste energy based on how much energy is used per item sold with promotions all around for discovering this massive waste of energy. How very, very, Soviet of them.
Just what's it going to take to get the numb skulls in this country to finally say, "enough is enough"?
I smoke, skydive, race motorcycles, climb mountains, shoot heroin, have unprotected sex, drink to excess and pass out in the subway, and I dont think it is the companys business if I want to smoke, skydive, race motorcycles, climb mountains, shoot heroin, have unprotected sex, drink to excess and pass out in the subway.
well now there you go using COMMON SENSE again.
Unless Congress passes a law to compel these “suggestions”, then any other approach to force privately owned grocery stores to bend to these “suggestions” is simply more raw fascism on the part of the Obammunists.
Of course unlimited underwriting makes perfect sense if clean-living healthy people, get a significant premium cut.
Excuse me, but I don't recall her being elected to any position that would require Americans to follow her agenda.
The flip-side of the talking MyCart grocery cart coin is the “MyChair” talking toilet.
That is one of the most powerful prayers I have heard.
This is ridiculous!
ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why don’t they ban all junk food? Halloween? Those ladies who shove junk food samples in your hands as you walk by?
Maybe they can put sugar behind the pharmacy counter like they do Sudafed. And marshmallows. And Little Debbie Snack Cakes. And when you want to purchase such, you have to sign a piece of paper and give the pharmacy your drivers license number and social security number so they can put it in the sugar database.
That sort of thing has not reached here downunda yet. I
I must say I think it crosses a line that has nothing to do with your employment - to me it’s almost tantamount to assault!
Neonicotinoids are in the seeds of genetically modified vegetables, corn and soy being the top two, then neonicotinoids as an insecticide are sprayed on those crops and they are sold as a package with a contract to farmers..it is supposedly designed to make crops resistant to certain pests of the insect variety. Since you are a high tech and I am not, perhaps you could look into it on your own?
well there was specificity in there for highlighting the health food with mercury filled uber lights! LOL
What a colossal waste of money! The wide-load sitting on the electric cart because she is too large to waddle down the aisle unassisted is not going to pay attention to a talking cart anymore than would her two little roly-poly cherubs with a snack cake in one hand and a soda in the other. Any yes, I see this at Wallyworld all the time. Scope it out for an hour or two on the day the Eagle flies.
“It was announced that every employee will have blood drawn on the premises to determine nicotine levels.”
Do they have a warrant? Helluva difference from pissing in a cup.
Sounds like grounds for a lawsuit.
All food stamp applicants should be required to take basic home economic courses in cooking and budgeting.
“which is in line with first lady Michelle Obamas stated second term agenda”
Who the hell elected her queen of grocery stores?
USDA. No H in that string, so why are they talking about health issues?
And we all know full well how these people have performed in the classroom before.
If a shopping cart talked to me, I’d push that sucker into traffic.
I think that this is a little further down the “slippery slope” that all the whiners, regressives, Neanderthals, and Bible-thumpers were crying about.
Isn't it great the crowd who are guaranteed lifetime employment are all getting raises for looking after us?
It's just like having your own loving mother put her stainless steel knife edged tit in your mouth and saying, "suck on this, honey" then singing you a lullaby.
I haven't tasted a decent orange or tangerine in years. Paying $5 a bag only to peel them and they be as dry inside as they are outside ticks me off. Grapes? Ha Ha Ha sure sour and cost more than about any of the other fruits.
Moving on the meat. Now I can remember as a kid being able to eat Bologna and any other sandwich meat without bending over double afterward in some gastro explosion. The taste was good and a kid taking a lunch from home to school could safely eat it at lunch. This was when sandwich meat was made from actual meat and not ground bone, ligaments, and gristle. Which brings up the issue of bread. Shelf life? Two weeks and it taste like two week old bread.
Soft drinks? As a kid I drink a few about every day and suffered no ill effects. But the governments stinking sugar program keeping the price of sugar sky high means companies use corn syrup. Thank you Pepsi for Throwbacks and for diet drinks with Splenda which still taste far better than a cold glass of Karo syrup.
Ground beef? Gone through the roof. Fat back for soup beans is as much or more on the pound as ground beef. It used to cost a fraction of what ground beef did. Tuna fish? Remember when the cans actually were packed with Tuna and just enough water inside to insure it stayed moist? Used to be the cheapest meat was chicken. One company now supplies most stores and the sky is the limit same with pork chops. Bacon is now officially the rich mans breakfast meat.
Candy? Hershey candy bars now taste like paraffin. Almond Joy still taste the same but just half of what you once got. Reese peanut butter cups are about half size also. They don't seem as good as they used to be.
I buy at the store what I can afford as top priority. So it also angers me that the mega stores have everyone subsidizing the Seafood Dept in every store whether customers actually buy it or not along with other such stuff as Chittlins. I bet they sell a bucket a year of that in my area.
The real treat is beef roast but it's also the best meat value for number of meals when on sale. BTW why should a small bag of Kraut cost $2?
On top of it all our meddling Goobermunt who now has it's agencies in everything is one of the main reasons consumer goods especially food has such a high cost. Everything in a store gets there by truck. With diesel fuel in the cheaper states costing $4.70 plus that is passed on to the consumer also. The fuel is just part of it. Some states also charge mileage tax on trucks plus the annual permits.
Dear Goobermunt, You have screwed up royally just about every aspect of a private American citizens everyday life trying to be our overlords in a nation that was supposed to be governed by consent we give our ELECTED officials and not some power hungry tyrants heading feral agencies. I remember when you used to not be so disgustingly ugly & bloated and authoritarian in nature. Our nation as well as our lives ran much smoother then. You're meddling in agriculture trying to control it rather than letting the market do it is what created much of this mess. Worse than that stupid patent lawsuits etc were upheld basically giving one company control of most of our food chain including of all things pollination of plants. All of this just in the past 40 of my 55 plus years you have managed to do.
So now your so called expert agencies have the gall to try and tell me what and how to eat? I would say go to hell but you've already in a way created a version of that as well.
When someone gives you money they’re going to tell you how to spend it.