A pricing strategy to promote low-fat snack choices through vending machines

Am J Public Health. 1997 May;87(5):849-51. doi: 10.2105/ajph.87.5.849.


Objectives: This study examined the role of price on purchases of low-fat snacks from vending machines.

Methods: Sales of low-fat and regular snacks were monitored in nine vending machines during a 4-week baseline, a 3-week intervention in which prices of low-fat snacks were reduced 50%, and 3 weeks postintervention.

Results: The proportion of low-fat snacks purchased was 25.7%, 45.8%, and 22.8% in the three periods, respectively. Total snack purchases did not vary by period.

Conclusions: Reducing relative prices may be effective in promoting lower-fat food choices in the population. Vending machines may be a feasible method for implementing such nutrition interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Commerce*
  • Dietary Fats*
  • Humans
  • United States


  • Dietary Fats