Cost of Children's Healthy vs Unhealthy Snacks Does Not Differ at Convenience Stores

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017 Mar;49(3):241-243.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.11.006. Epub 2017 Jan 7.


Objective: This study compared the prices of unhealthy (chips) and healthy (ready-to-eat fruit) snacks that students are likely to purchase from corner stores.

Methods: Snacks were purchased from 325 New Jersey corner stores; chip prices were compared with fruit prices overall and by store sales volume and block group characteristics.

Results: Prices did not differ significantly between chips and fruit in the overall sample in which both items were available (n = 104) (chips: $0.46 ± $0.15; fruit: $0.49 ± $0.19; P = .48) or by store or block group characteristics. Neither mean fruit prices nor mean chip prices differed by store sales volume or by neighborhood characteristics.

Conclusions and implications: Promoting ready-to-eat fruits in corner stores to children as a price-neutral alternative to calorically dense snacks can be a viable strategy to improve the nutritional quality of snacks commonly purchased at corner stores.

Keywords: child; convenience stores; food costs; snacks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / economics*
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Food Supply / economics*
  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New Jersey
  • Poverty
  • Snacks*