BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
There is growing interest in expanding healthy eating interventions in the retail setting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the implementation of a successful 2-for-1 price incentive for fruits and vegetables (F&V), including frozen and canned, that took place in partnership with a large chain grocery retailer in Maine. Intervention Approach. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) pilot study was conducted in 2015-2016, followed by a larger RCT in 2016-2017, to assess whether a supermarket double-dollar F&V incentive increased purchases of these items.
A convergent, parallel mixed-methods design was used to examine barriers and facilitators to implementing the interventions, using six implementation outcomes: acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility, implementation fidelity, and perceived cost.
The intervention was deemed highly acceptable, appropriate, and feasible by shoppers, retailers, and researchers. The F&V discount had a high rate of initial adoption. There was a moderate degree of fidelity, which improved over time based on lessons learned from the pilot and applied to the subsequent RCT. Specific costs associated with implementation from the research perspective are reported. Implications for Practice, Policy, and Research. Partnerships between academic researchers and retailers can be an effective model for improving healthful purchases among shoppers. These findings are relevant for investigators, public health advocates, and retailers interested in implementing similar grocery retail-based interventions.