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Healthy Food Retail


Healthy corner stores typically meet set standards to receive the designation. These standards typically include requirements to stock certain items and can sometimes include the amount of shelf space that “healthy items receive”. Additional standards require stores to promote these “healthy” foods, or restrict promoting unhealthy items.


Healthy Retail: A Set of Tools for Policy and Partnership

  • Playbook
    This resource and the companion policy poster present innovative strategies in tobacco control, nutrition, and excessive alcohol use prevention in order to
 create a retail environment where it is easier to make healthy choices than unhealthy ones.
  • Conversation Starters
    This set of 4 one-pagers introduces the rationale behind and benefits of a comprehensive approach to the retail environment. Use the sample talking points in each of the conversation starters to identify shared goals and make the case for collaboration.
  • Collaboration Workbook
    This step-by-step guide discusses strategies for forming 
a partnership among tobacco control, nutrition, and excessive alcohol use prevention programs.

ChangeLab Solutions: Library of Healthy Retail Resources
This new online library brings together all our healthy retail resources, including tools for regulating tobacco, providing produce, and addressing alcohol.

Healthy Corner Stores Network
The Healthy Corner Stores Network supports efforts to increase the availability and sales of healthy, affordable foods through small-scale stores in under-served communities.

Model Health Checkout Aisle Ordinance
This model ordinance requires all retail stores to provide healthy checkout aisles for consumers. It offers communities two options for determining what foods may be sold in checkout aisles: One option is to provide a specific list of foods that may be available in checkout lanes; the other provides nutrition-based criteria for determining what foods and beverages may be available. This versatile resource provides both model policy language and relevant findings. It can be tailored for use by city, county, or state governments or by corporations.

Voices for Healthy Kids Healthy Foods Financing – Corner Stores Toolkit
In this toolkit, you will find tactics to help your community increase access to affordable healthy foods and, more specifically, to advocate for healthy corner store initiatives in underserved areas.

Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy
This comprehensive, community-based program allows communities to improve access to healthy, affordable foods by working with a small food retailer. Millions of Americans have limited access to a supermarket, which means they must rely on fast-food restaurants, gas stations and corner stores to feed themselves and their families. People who have better access to supermarkets are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables and less likely to be overweight or obese. Through toolkits, resources and webinars, Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy will guide any community through a unique approach to increasing access to healthy foods that involves engaging small food retailers and community members, and thus addresses supply and demand at the same time.

Shop Healthy NYC! How to Adopt a Shop: A Guide to Working with Your Local Food Retailer
This guide is based on the work of Shop Healthy NYC, a food retail program run by the New York City Health Department and  contains simple steps to Adopt a Shop with ideas and resources for each step of the way.

Temptation at Checkout: The Food Industry’s Sneaky Strategy for Selling More
This resource reveals how checkouts work to prompt purchases and makes the case that stores should not use checkouts to promote foods and beverages that undermine their customers’ health. Profiling healthy checkout projects around the United States, and three retail policies in the United Kingdom, the report shows that healthy checkout is not only possible, but would also be a major step forward in cleaning up the food environment. Visit the Pinterest board to see examples of healthy and unhealthy checkout isles.

Sugar Overload: Retail Checkout Promotes Obesity
This resource examines the prevalence and healthfulness of foods and beverages in retail checkout aisles. Across 30 grocery stores and other retailers, the study found that candy, gum, energy bars, chips, cookies, soda, and other sugary drinks comprise the majority of food and beverages at checkout. Research also uncovered that unhealthy food and beverages are common even in the checkout aisles of stores that are not in the business of selling food. Candy at Bed Bath and Beyond? Soda at Staples? Yes, most retail stores are pushing extra calories on their customers.

Availability of Healthy Food Products at Check-out Nationwide, 2010 – 2012
The placement of products in food retail establishments shapes the shopping environment of the consumer and influences which foods and beverages a consumer chooses to purchase. Bridging the Gap measured the availability of healthy food products at checkout nationwide and found that many more checkouts pushed candy or sugary drinks than fresh fruits and vegetables or water.

8 Ways Supermarkets Get You to Buy More (Often Junk) Food
Check out these eight ways that supermarkets can influence your food purchasing habits.

Current Practices in Developing and Supporting Farmers’ Markets
Five states working to increase access to healthy foods through farmers’ markets by using strategies such as improving acceptance of federal nutrition assistance program benefits in underserved areas.

Current Practices in Healthy Food Retail: Small Stores
Five states working to increase the availability of healthy foods and beverages in small stores by using strategies such as improving retail practices for healthy foods or working with small store owners to improve the quality and variety of foods they stock.


Articles related to healthy checkout’s


Increasing Access to Healthy Food: Best Practices in Developing Healthy Corner Store Initiatives
This webinar provides an overview of how to implement a small/corner store program to increase access to healthy food, including fundamental program components, high-level best practices and opportunities to link other community health programs and policy initiatives.

Learning Objectives:

  • How a healthy small/corner store program fits into a comprehensive approach to healthy food access in a region
  • The fundamental components of a health small/corner store program
  • High-level best practices in healthy small/corner store programs
  • Opportunities to link other community health programs and policy initiatives to a healthy small/corner store program such as healthcare screenings and incentive programs
  • Resources for further learning, technical assistance and support

expanding healthy retail


Putting Health on the Shelf: Partnering with Small Stores to Improve the Retail Environment
Small store interventions can improve the retail environment, making it easier for community members to access healthy food options. This webinar will introduce listeners to healthy food retail, provide an overview of a healthy retail certification program, share best practices for engaging store owners, and highlight ideas for potential partnerships.

heath on the shelf


Why We Buy the Food We Buy
The webinar focused on environmental cues that influence why we buy the food we buy and featured presentations by David Just, Co-Director of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs, and Margo Wootan, Director, Nutrition Policy, Center for Science in the Public Interest.

cspi webinar


AHA Healthy Food Financing Initiative


Anatomy of a Supermarket 
Of course we make the decisions about what to eat and feed our families. But what influences the choices we make? Our new video “Anatomy of a Supermarket Purchase” highlights several strategies food companies use to influence what people buy and eat. Drawing from advances in psychology and companies’ own marketing strategies, our video shows how companies are able to influence the food choices of even the best intentioned and most disciplined people, often so subtly that we don’t even realize it.