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Article

Impact of a targeted direct marketing price promotion intervention (Buywell) on food-purchasing behaviour by low income consumers: a randomised controlled trial

Citation
Stead M, MacKintosh AM, Findlay A, Sparks L, Anderson AS, Barton KL & Eadie D (2017) Impact of a targeted direct marketing price promotion intervention (Buywell) on food-purchasing behaviour by low income consumers: a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 30 (4), pp. 524-533. https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12441

Abstract
Background: Price promotions are a promising intervention for encouraging healthier food purchasing. We aimed to assess the impact of a targeted direct marketing price promotion combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions on the purchase of selected healthier foods by low income consumers.  Methods: We conducted a randomised controlled trial (n = 53 367) of a direct marketing price promotion (Buywell) combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions for low income consumers identified as ‘less healthy’ shoppers. Impact was assessed using electronic point of sale data for UK low income shoppers before, during and after the promotion.  Results: The proportion of customers buying promoted products in the intervention month increased by between 1.4% and 2.8% for four of the five products. There was significantly higher uptake in the promotion month (P < 0.001) for the intervention group than would have been expected on the basis of average uptake in the other months. When product switching was examined for semi-skimmed/skimmed milk, a modest increase (1%) was found in the intervention month of customers switching from full-fat to low-fat milk. This represented 8% of customers who previously bought only full-fat milk. The effects were generally not sustained after the promotion period.  Conclusions: Short-term direct marketing price promotions combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions targeted at low income consumers are feasible and can have a modest impact on short-term food-purchasing behaviour, although further approaches are needed to help sustain these changes.

Keywords
health inequalities; marketing; nutrition; promotion; public health

Journal
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics: Volume 30, Issue 4

StatusPublished
Author(s)Stead, Martine; MacKintosh, Anne Marie; Findlay, Anne; Sparks, Leigh; Anderson, Annie S; Barton, Karen L; Eadie, Douglas
FundersMedical Research Council
Publication date31/08/2017
Publication date online17/02/2017
Date accepted by journal30/09/2016
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/24688
PublisherWiley-Blackwell for The British Dietetic Association Ltd.
ISSN0952-3871
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