Drive selection of healthy foods
Sally Dover and Kelly Kunkel, Extension Educators — Health and Nutrition
Revised December 2014 by Kelly Kunkel, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition.
Display is essential to encourage clients to select fresh produce and other healthy foods.
What you can do today
- Position the healthiest offerings in prominent locations where they're easy to see, such as at eye level. Place them toward the front of your space.
- Search the internet for "fresh produce display images" to get ideas about how to make your food look attractive to clients.
- Highlight fresh produce and other healthy foods with attractive, easy-to-read signage and posters. For printable healthy food signs: Promote Fresh Produce Toolkit
- Review at least one of the following resources:
- For informative images and strategies to improve food shelf displays: Merchandising & Stocking Basics and Checklist
- For display tips and colorful images (created for retail stores but useful for food shelves, too): Healthy Foods Here Produce Marketing Guide (pp. 6-9)
- For a healthy food display strategy, suggested food shelf layout, and colorful images: Healthy Food Handling Training (slides 9-22)
Tips for success
Display fresh produce and other healthy foods in prominent, well-lit locations, such as near the front entrance or in the center of the space.
- Arrange food in baskets or bins, or on a checkered table cloth.
- Remove any spoiled food from the display area immediately.
- Display recipes next to healthy items, and group the ingredients for healthy recipes together. This strategy is called "cross-merchandising." For suggestions on how to group items to encourage clients to choose healthy food: Cross-Merchandising: Tips for a Food Shelf
Ideas in action: Choice-based shopping
If you currently pre-box or bag produce for clients, you may want to consider offering "choice-based" shopping of all foods, or for fresh produce only. This model lets clients choose the foods they prefer, which helps you make better use of your funding and resources.
Find out more about Promoting healthy eating at food shelves:
- Identify Healthy Food
- Source Healthy Food
- Work with Local Growers
- Ensure Safety of Healthy Food
- Store Healthy Foods Properly
- Work with Limited Storage Space
- Provide Practical Information
- Find Healthy Recipes
- Enlist Volunteers' Help
- Include Healthy Foods in Your Backpack Program
- Do Cooking Demonstrations
- Develop a Healthy Food Policy
- Fund Your Healthy Eating Initiatives
Download the complete document: Promoting healthy eating at food shelves (PDF).
Healthy Food Shelf Transformations — This SNAP-Ed-funded project aims to transform hunger relief in Minnesota to be more healthful, equitable, and reliable.
Nudging to Health: Promoting Healthy Choices at Your Food Shelf — Attend this workshop and access the training resources.
Cooking Healthy on a Budget Videos — Show these short videos at your food shelf to increase awareness of common foods.