Make It Fresh, for Less! A Supermarket Meal Bundling and Electronic Reminder Intervention to Promote Healthy Purchases Among Families With Children

Alyssa J. Moran, Neha Khandpur, Michele Polacsek, Anne N. Thorndike, Rebecca L. Franckle, Rebecca Boulos, Sally Sampson, Julie C. Greene, Dan G. Blue, Eric B. Rimm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To evaluate the effects of a supermarket meal bundling and electronic reminder intervention on food choices of families with children. Design: Quasi-experimental (meal bundling) and randomized, controlled trial (electronic reminders). Setting: Large supermarket in Maine during 40-week baseline and 16-week intervention periods in 2015–2016. Participants: English-speaking adults living with at least 1 child aged ≤18 years (n = 300) with 25% of households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Intervention(s): (1) Four bundles of ingredients needed to make 8 low-cost healthful meals were promoted in the store through displays and point-of-purchase messaging for 4 weeks each; (2) weekly electronic messages based on principles from behavioral psychology were sent to study participants reminding them to look for meal bundles in the store. Main Outcome Measures: (1) Difference in storewide sales and individual purchases of bundled items (measured using supermarket loyalty card data) from baseline to intervention in intervention vs control groups. Analysis: Regressions controlling for total food spending and accounting for repeated measures. Results: There were no differences in spending on bundled items resulting from the meal bundling intervention or the electronic reminders. Conclusions and Implications: Overall, there was little impact of healthful meal bundles and electronic reminders on storewide sales or purchases of promoted items in a large supermarket.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-408
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019



  • SNAP
  • behavioral economics
  • fruits and vegetables
  • randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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