Effectiveness of price reduction and behaviour change strategies for improving fruit, vegetable and beverage consumption: Results from the Supermarket Healthy Eating for LiFe (SHELf) randomised controlled trial (#35)
Aim: To evaluate the effects of price reductions and skills-based behaviour change strategies on women’s purchase and consumption of fruits, vegetables, and low-joule beverages. Methods: A randomised controlled trial was conducted in the supermarket setting over three months. Participants were recruited from low and high socioeconomic areas and randomly allocated to one of four intervention arms: skills-based behaviour change, delivered via mailed resource packs and an online forum; 20% price reduction on fresh, tinned and frozen fruits, vegetables, low-joule carbonated soft drinks and water; a combined behaviour change + price reduction intervention; or control (no intervention). Outcomes, assessed with supermarket sales data and self-report surveys, were changes from baseline in purchasing and consumption of vegetables (primary), fruit, and low-joule carbonated soft drinks and water (secondary).
Results: 643 women completed baseline surveys, had their supermarket transaction data collected retrospectively, and were randomised to one of the four intervention arms. After receiving the intervention, 620 participants completed post-intervention surveys (96% retention) and had transaction data collected for the intervention period. Preliminary analysis demonstrated increases in fruit and vegetable purchasing for the price reduction relative to the control condition; increased fruit consumption in the behaviour change condition; and increased fruit consumption (borderline significant), bottled water consumption and fruit purchasing (borderline significant) in the combined price-reduction/behaviour change intervention. Conclusions: A price reduction and behavioural intervention was successful in recruiting and retaining women. Price reductions and, to a lesser extent, behaviour change approaches showed promising early results in terms of increased fruit and vegetable purchasing and consumption.