Healthy food pricing incentives have emerged as a promising strategy to improve nutrition. We define a healthy food pricing incentive as a monetary award that reduces the price of healthy foods, making them more affordable.
This report updates what is known about incentives and their effectiveness. It describes the design features of incentive programs (e.g. incentive amount, how to provide it, where it can be used) and explores what features may be associated with significant impacts on healthy food consumption and purchases.
These features include:
- Providing incentives electronically (e.g. SNAP electronic benefits transfer or supermarket loyalty cards) rather than physically (e.g. paper voucher or coupon).
- Issuing incentives on more than one occasion rather than once
- Offering incentives for longer periods of time (more than 24 weeks).
- Including a broader selection of healthy foods (e.g. all fruit and vegetable types rather than only fresh produce or incorporating additional types of healthy foods).
- Allowing redemption in stores in contrast to farmers markets.