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The dietary impact of introducing new retailers of fruits and vegetables into a community: results from a systematic review

  • Rebecca C Woodruff (a1), Ilana G Raskind (a1), Diane M Harris (a2), Julie A Gazmararian (a3), Michael Kramer (a3), Regine Haardörfer (a1) and Michelle C Kegler (a1)...

To investigate the potential dietary impact of the opening of new retailers of healthy foods.


Systematic review of the peer-reviewed research literature.


References published before November 2015 were retrieved from MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science databases using keyword searches.


The outcome of the review was change in fruit and vegetable consumption among adults.


Of 3514 references retrieved, ninety-two articles were reviewed in full text, and twenty-three articles representing fifteen studies were included. Studies used post-test only (n 4), repeated cross-sectional (n 4) and repeated measures designs (n 7) to evaluate the dietary impact of supermarket (n 7), farmers’ market (n 4), produce stand (n 2) or mobile market (n 2) openings. Evidence of increased fruit and vegetable consumption was most consistent among adults who began shopping at the new retailer. Three of four repeated measures studies found modest, albeit not always statistically significant, increases in fruit and vegetable consumption (range 0·23–0·54 servings/d) at 6–12 months after baseline. Dietary change among residents of the broader community where the new retailer opened was less consistent.


The methodological quality of studies, including research designs, sampling methods, follow-up intervals and outcome measures, ranged widely. Future research should align methodologically with previous work to facilitate meta-analytic synthesis of results. Opening a new retailer may result in modest short-term increases in fruit and vegetable consumption among adults who choose to shop there, but the potential longer-term dietary impact on customers and its impact on the broader community remain unclear.

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Public Health Nutrition
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