In the UK, convenience stores play an important part in shaping diets. They are often found at the centre of communities and in areas with few other food shops, which makes them convenient for everyone and essential for those with limited mobility due to age, disability or income. Unfortunately, however, they are not often associated with healthy food provision. To increase the availability of healthy foods, we therefore need to engage with the people who run convenience stores, to persuade them to sell more healthy options.
But what works when it comes to approaching and supporting convenience store operators to provide healthier foods in their stores? And what motivates the retailers to join healthy food initiatives and stay committed? What makes it worth their while?
To answer these questions, we first reviewed the academic literature on healthy retail initiatives. We then interviewed convenience store operators and the practitioners who worked with them on three healthy food initiatives, two in London and one in Scotland.
The Evidence Review presents our findings. The Guidance Note summarises our recommendations for effective engagement.