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Good Choice Healthier Retail Initiative puts Healthier Choices Within Reach

Nov 19, 2018

The Good Choice Healthier Retail Initiative is making it easier for Alabama shoppers to choose healthier items. They are doing this by increasing access and appeal of healthier items. This initiative is a partnership between:

  • Alabama Extension’s SNAP-Ed at Auburn University
  • Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)
  • local food retail owners/managers 
people near a store produce display

Program Summary

The Good Choice Healthier Retail Initiative is increasing access and appeal of healthier items by making changes in 3 areas:

  • Promotional activities
  • Product placement
  • Purchasing practices

Before making program changes, SNAP-Ed educators assess a store’s existing sales and promotion of healthy food and drinks. They do this using the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS) tool and ADPH’s Good Choice Checklist. Educators then work with store owners/managers to:

  • display Good Choice signage, point-of-purchase prompts, stickers, banners and shelf clings that promote healthy items
  • identify the most common path of purchase and current location of healthy items
  • recommend product placement changes that encourages the purchase of healthy items
  • create a plan to increase inventory of healthy food and drink items
eat better: look inside for good choices

Program Impact

SNAP-Ed educators worked with ADPH, local champions, and food store owners/managers of 11 food retail stores in 8 Alabama counties. Together, these stores made more than 35 positive changes during the 2017 fiscal year.  These changes included:

  • promotional activities like recipe demonstrations, samples, and Good Choice signs
  • increased shelf space, with healthy items in better locations, and improved equipment for stocking healthy items
  • systems changes which improved purchasing plans and increased stock of healthy items 

Type of Program

Policy, systems and environmental change

Years of Implementation

2015-present

Number of Participants

Program reaches almost 8,000 store customers each day

Program Evaluation

Changes adopted by food retail outlets related to promotion, placement, and procurement are documented using NEMS and Good Choice Checklist tools before and after implementation of changes. Total number and demographics of persons who encounter these changes on a regular basis are followed as well. 


This story was submitted by Alabama Extension’s SNAP-Ed at Auburn University. For more information, please contact Alicia Powers.