In partnership with colleagues at NC State University, we will partner with local WIC food retailers in two states to offer a bundle of WIC approved food items, based on behavioral economics principles, to encourage purchasing of these items that can be incorporated into a meal. We will evaluate the impact of this intervention by recruiting WIC participants in each state to receive monthly promotional communication highlighting the store bundles and recipes. We will collect data on participants' shopping behaviors through brief surveys and collecting receipts from monthly WIC shopping trips. The findings of this study will provide initial evidence that retailer-based strategies can improve the WIC shopping experience and subsequently help increase WIC benefit redemption and program retention
Lucia Leone, Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, Christina Kasprzak, Samina Raja & Leonard H. Epstein (2021) The WIC Shopping Experience: A Qualitative Study Examining Retail-based Strategies to Increase WIC Retention and Redemption Rates, Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/19320248.2021.1915906
WIC Shopping Experience Focus Groups
We conducted 9 focus groups in Western New York with WIC participants to understand store-level barriers to using WIC benefits. We asked about their experiences using WIC at the store, what would make it easier for them to use their WIC benefits, and what their opinions were about bundling WIC-eligible products into one package. We also surveyed participants' perceptions of what makes it easier or harder to eat fruits and vegetables and the types of programs that would facilitate access to healthy food. The goal of this research is to recommend retail-level interventions and policies that could both improve the WIC shopping experience and benefit vendors.