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USDA: Give Free Movie Tickets To People On Food Stamps

From the Washington Free Beacon:

USDA Suggests Changes to Grocery Stores to ‘Nudge’ Consumers to Eat Healthy

By Elizabeth Harrington | July 15, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to “nudge” Americans to purchase healthier foods when they shop.  The agency commissioned an “expert panel” to make recommendations on how to guide the more than 47 million Americans on food stamps into spending their benefits on fruits and vegetables.

The group released an 80-page report this month presenting their ideas, which include talking shopping carts and a marketing strategy for grocery chains that would feature better store lighting for healthier items…

Initial suggestions from the USDA on how to alter the grocery environment include stores offering “SNAP-Ed cooking classes” and consultations with dieticians…

Another idea included a point-based system where food stamp recipients could receive movie tickets in exchange for healthy food purchases.

Why not alcohol or condoms?

Grocery store staff could also be used as “ambassadors” for the USDA’s agenda…

Just imagine, a Michelle Obama in every store.

The panel based this approach on a $999,891 government-funded study entitled “Nudging Nutrition,” arguing the research “suggests an intervention of this sort might be successful in modifying consumer shopping behavior.”

Wow. It’s a good thing this study didn’t cost a million dollars. Then it might have been seen as a waste of money.

The panel came up with six preferred strategies: discount coupons for SNAP recipients; rebates of up to $60 for healthy purchases on EBT cards; buy one get one free deals for SNAP recipients; a targeted marketing plan to promote healthy food; a USDA loyalty card; and new specialized shopping carts…

The USDA also recommended standards for how shelves should be stocked. For example: “at least half of all shelf space in the dairy case should be allocated for low-fat or skim milk.”

Following the report, the two preferred strategies—offering discount coupons for healthy food and changes to store marketing—will be examined in pilot studies. The USDA envisions that supermarkets, superstores, small grocers, specialty stores, and farmers markets would adopt changes in the future through an agency program.

Something tells us the ‘free movie’ tickets will be the only effective strategy.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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