Knowledge for better food systems

Engaging with convenience stores for healthier food

The Food Research Collaboration has produced an evidence review and guidance note on the role that convenience stores can play in shaping diets in the UK - specifically, how convenience store operators can be persuaded to offer more healthy food options. 

The reports are based on both a literature review and a series of interviews with convenience store operators. The guidance note sets out recommendations for health or local food practitioners who want to engage with convenience stores to increase their supply of healthy foods. Recommendations include:

  • Choose participants (i.e. retailers) carefully, e.g. by asking trade associations for help or by choosing retailers who already have some sort of community involvement.
  • Create flexible programmes that respect the busy schedule of store operators and that can be worked through in stages.
  • Keep programmes realistic, relatable and free.
  • Talk about how the retail business can benefit from being involved in a programme.
  • Build long term relationships between programme staff and the retailers, e.g. by planning funding over a sufficient time-frame and by organising community events.

Read the full report Engaging with convenience stores for healthier food provision: what works? here. See also the Foodsource resource How does food interface with societal and health concerns?

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