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University of Minnesota Extension

Drive selection of healthy foods

Display is essential to encourage clients to select fresh produce and other healthy foods.

What you can do today

  • Position the healthiest offerings in prominent locations where they're easy to see, such as at eye level. Place them toward the front of your space.
  • Search the internet for "fresh produce display images" to get ideas about how to make your food look attractive to clients.
  • Review at least one of the following resources:

Tips for success

Display fresh produce and other healthy foods in prominent, well-lit locations, such as near the front entrance or in the center of the space.

  • Arrange food in baskets or bins, or on a checkered tablecloth.
  • Remove any spoiled food from the display area immediately.
  • Display recipes next to healthy items, and group the ingredients for healthy recipes together. This strategy is called "cross-merchandising." For suggestions on how to group items to encourage clients to choose healthy food: Cross-Merchandising: Tips for a Food Shelf

Ideas in action: Choice-based shopping

If you currently pre-box or bag produce for clients, you may want to consider offering "choice-based" shopping of all foods, or for fresh produce only. This model lets clients choose the foods they prefer, which helps you make better use of your funding and resources.

Find out more about Promoting healthy eating at food shelves:

Download the complete document: Promoting healthy eating at food shelves (PDF).

Sally Dover and Kelly Kunkel, Extension educators in health and nutrition

Revised 2014 by Kelly Kunkel, Extension educator in health and nutrition

Reviewed in 2018

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