Healthier choices in a supermarket
Supermarkets are potential sites for collaboration between the health sector, food industry and the sales business in health promotion work. In order to establish the possibility of co-operation between the municipal food control authority and the retail stores, an intervention project was started in one supermarket in Finland. The aim of the project was to encourage the supermarket to take health aspects, especially related to salt and saturated fat, into consideration in their marketing and to find out how the customers react to this project. The intervention was designed as a step-wise programme with gradually increasing intervention. During the intervention period 600 customers were interviewed. The awareness of the campaign rose steadily up to over 50 percent during the last phase. The reporting of the local newspaper and radio seemed particularly to increase the customers' awareness. Both the customers and the supermarket workers had a very positive attitude towards the project throughout the intervention. The direct impact of the intervention on reported purchase behaviour was small but the study showed that health promotion work in co-operation between food control and supermarkets does work. The project could serve as a model for similar larger health promotion projects and might inspire other supermarkets to help their customers make healthier choices.
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