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

Martine Stead*, Anne Marie MacKintosh, Anne Findlay, Leigh Sparks, Annie S. Anderson, Karen L. Barton, Douglas Eadie

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Background Price promotions are a promising intervention for encouraging healthier food purchasing. We sought to assess the impact of a targeted direct marketing price promotion combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions on 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. 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. 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 but further approaches are needed to help sustain these changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)524–533
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
    Volume30
    Issue number4
    Early online date17 Feb 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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