Cash-Back on Carrots! Rewards Increase Spending on Healthy Foods
2 months ago
If that's what it takes!
Receiving cash-back rebates on healthy food significantly influences their being purchased. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, when shoppers were offered a 10 percent rebate (or 25 percent if they filled out a questionnaire) on fruits, vegetables, non-fat dairy and other healthy foods, there was a 6 percent (or 9.3 percent) increase in the spending on these foods. "People did react fairly strong," says Roland Sturm of RAND Corporation, the study's lead author. Even the smaller rebate was "enough to change behavior." The better news is that shoppers didn't then buy donuts with the cash they got back; they still increased their spending on healthy foods. Walmart and a company called HumanaVitality are now testing a similar incentives program in which members of HumanaVitality save 5 percent when they buy foods with the Great For You label. Some two-thirds of healthcare spending is linked to lifestyle diseases such as obesity or Type-2 diabetes that can be prevented or controlled by healthier diets. (NPR)