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Influencing the food choices of SNAP consumers: Lessons from economics, psychology and marketing

David Just and Gnel Gabrielyan

Food Policy, 2018, vol. 79, issue C, 309-317

Abstract: Behavioral economic based interventions have shown some promise in leading food consumers of all ages to healthier diets. Such interventions face unique challenges in addressing the diets of SNAP recipients. First, current law prohibits differential treatment of SNAP recipients and other grocery store customers. Thus, the nudges cannot narrowly target those participating in SNAP. Second, SNAP participants make the majority of their qualifying purchases in grocery stores which are already heavily loaded with behavioral nudges. Not only must nudges compete for attention within the store, but they must be at least weakly beneficial to the store owner. We discuss examples that demonstrate the possibility of meeting these seemingly strict criteria, and the potential for using such nudge interventions as a part of SNAP.

Date: 2018
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