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The healthiness of food and beverages on price promotion at promotional displays: A cross-sectional audit of australian supermarkets

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Supermarket environments can strongly influence purchasing decisions. Price promotions are recognised as a particularly persuasive tactic, but the healthiness of price promotions in prominent in-store locations is understudied. This study compared the prevalence and magnitude of price promotions on healthy and unhealthy food and beverages (foods) displayed at prominent in-store locations within Australian supermarkets, including analyses by supermarket group and area-level socio-economic position. A cross-sectional in-store audit of price promotions on foods at key display areas was undertaken in 104 randomly selected stores from major Australian supermarket groups (Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and independents) in Victoria, Australia. Of the display space dedicated to foods with price promotions, three of the four supermarket groups had a greater proportion of display space devoted to unhealthy (compared to healthy) foods at each promotional location measured (end of aisles: 66%; island bins: 53%; checkouts: 88%). Aldi offered very few price promotions. Few measures varied by area-level socio-economic position. This study demonstrated that price promotions at prominent in-store locations in Australian supermarkets favoured unhealthy foods. Marketing of this nature is likely to encourage the purchase of unhealthy foods, highlighting the need for retailers and policy-makers to consider addressing in-store pricing and placement strategies to encourage healthier food environments.

History

Journal

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

17

Issue

23

Article number

9026

Pagination

1 - 17

Publisher

MDPI

Location

Basel, Switzerland

ISSN

1661-7827

eISSN

1660-4601

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2020, The Author(s)