A study conducted by researchers from the University of Southampton showed that removing sweets and other unhealthy products from store exits and placing fruits and vegetables near store entrances leads customers to buy healthy food.
“It is becoming increasingly clear from the findings of scientific studies and other research that precise marketing techniques, such as where products are placed in stores, can influence customers’ purchasing choices,” notes Kristina Vogel, a public health nutrition specialist at the university and the study’s lead author.
Vogel said in statements to Al-Alam: Research indicates that some food stores deliberately promote the sales of some products by placing them at the entrances to the store and near the accounting places; So that customers can easily see them, these marketing strategies can be used to motivate customers to make healthy food choices.
The results of the study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, today “Tuesday”, September 7, showed a decrease in sales of sweets at the store level and an increase in sales of fruits and vegetables when these products were redistributed and a large section was allocated to the sale of fruits and vegetables near the entrances and exits of the store This redistribution of produce had beneficial effects on the purchase of fruits and vegetables and the quality of an individual’s diet.
Vogel adds: Changing supermarket designs can help people make healthy food choices and implement government nutritional recommendations, and study results indicate that a healthy store design can increase sales of fruits and vegetables by about 10,000 units sold, and reduce candy sales by about 1,500. One unit sold weekly in each store.
She continues: The scope of previous studies was limited; It included a study of placing healthy and unhealthy products – together – at the exit areas of the store only, but this new study went further with the aim of reducing customers’ exposure to high-calorie products, and measuring the effects of this on store sales and customer buying patterns for more than One member of the family.
The researchers stress that commercial reasons may prevent stores from voluntarily changing the layout and coordination of their stores to be healthier, especially if their competitors do not make these changes as well, and this requires government legislation to create a level playing field that would push all retailers to adopt healthy food marketing strategies .
In the press release accompanying the study, Matt Downs, a coordination and planning officer in Iceland, said: “We are pleased to support this long-term study and to assess how the placement of products in stores affects customers’ diets. We also know that childhood obesity is a growing problem, and that retail It has its place in addressing this, and the study’s findings provide policymakers with broader insights into the impact of store marketing on purchasing decisions.
In turn, Janis Beard, professor of public health and epidemiology at the University of Southampton, and a participant in the study, explained that the British government’s ban on placing unhealthy foods in prominent places across retail outlets could be beneficial to the diet of the population in general.
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