Academics in the aisles: Establishing a university-supermarket partnership

Main Article Content

Brandy-Joe Milliron
Kathleen Woolf
Barbara Ruhs
Bradley M. Appelhans


The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the US is a serious public health problem. Supermarkets in the US are responding to the obesity epidemic by providing the unique asset of food, pharmacy and registered dietitians in one location to help grocery shoppers manage diseases and improve nutrition. Recent studies report that supermarket point-of-purchase interventions focusing on improving healthy food purchasing behaviours are feasible and potentially efficacious. We describe our experiences and lessons learned while developing a university-supermarket partnership and pilot testing a supermarket POP intervention (Healthstyles-Eat Smart©) prior to its dissemination throughout the region. Barriers to and facilitators of developing university-supermarket partnerships and strategies to increase the feasibility of supermarket POP research are discussed. We conclude that strong university-supermarket partnerships are essential to conducting supermarket intervention research and are worth the time and effort it takes to build them.

Keywords: Fruit and vegetable purchases, point-of-purchase intervention, supermarket partnership, shopping behaviour

Article Details

Snapshots (Non-refereed)
Author Biographies

Brandy-Joe Milliron, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cancer Control & Survivorship Department of Social Sciences & Health Policies, Public Health Sciences Wake Forest School of Medicine

Kathleen Woolf, New York University

Assistant Professor Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development New York University

Barbara Ruhs, Bashas' Family of Stores

Corporate Registered Dietitian Bashas' Family of Stores Chandler, AZ

Bradley M. Appelhans, Rush University Medical Center

Assistant Professor Department of Preventive Medicine Rush University Medical Center