If You Build It Will They Come? There is More to Fixing Food Deserts Than Building Grocery Stores, Including Satisfaction of Shopping Experience

Shoppers not only care about cost and proximity to fresh produce, they also want choice and quality.  A study of nearly 500 residents in six low-income Chicago neighborhoods showed an increase of approximately twofold in the likelihood of consuming three or more fruits and vegetables daily per consumers’ level of satisfaction of the shopping environment.


Moving Food Along the Value Chain: Innovations in Regional Food Distribution

A USDA study of eight regional food hubs/distribution networks that describes how these networks tap into the growing commercial demand for local and regional food products while creating additional economic opportunities and expanding healthy food access.


Baltimore Neighborhoods Lack Access to Affordable, Healthy Food

More than a third of Baltimore neighborhoods do not have easy access to healthy and affordable foods.  In response to this latest data from John Hopkins University, city officials and other groups are launching programs to provide healthy food for residents, including highlighting healthy foods at farmer’s markets, creating delivery services and encouraging more grocery store development. 


Science-Based Policies in Support of Healthy Food and Farms

The Union of Concerned Scientists released a policy brief that looks at how a science-based farming and food system can meet our food needs, increase our health, protect the environment and support rural economies by shifting farm subsidies from processed foods and industrialized agriculture to healthy food and farming practices. 


Vending Machines in Taxis, a New Take on Mobile Marketing

A plan to put vending machines inside New York City taxi cabs won rave reviews at a city-sponsored contest for new business ideas.  If the company, TaxiTreats, receives approval from the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission, they will select items to be sold based on their popularity at convenience stores.


Consumer Choice: Local Over Organic

Consumer preference for local produce is increasing according to research completed by Mintel, a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence.  52% of consumers reported that it was more important to buy local produce over organic options.


Minnesota Schools Serve Farm-Fresh Local Food to Over a Half Million Students in 2011

Farm to School efforts made locally grown vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods available for 558,000 students in Minnesota last year.  99% of participating school districts plan to continue and possibly expand their Farm to School activities in the future.   


Cutting Through the Red Tape: A Resource Guide for Local Food Policy Practitioners and Organizers

Policy Brief No. 10 from the Institute for Food and Development Policy is a collection of resources, including tools and successful model policies, for local policy that supports integrated, sustainable and equitable food systems at the city or regional level.  It is organized for each area of the food system: production, processing, distribution, consumption and food waste recovery.


Food for Thought by Sesame Street: Bilingual Multimedia Tools Help Cash-Strapped Parents of Young Children

Food for Thought, a resource from SesameStreet.org, is a bilingual multimedia program designed to help families who have children ages 2 to 8 and lack access to affordable and healthy food.   Learn strategies for coping with food insecurity and get tips for teaching children healthy eating habits.


Pop-Up Restaurants Popping Up: Non-Traditional Marketing Idea Reduces Risk and Start Up Costs

Pop-up Restaurants are temporary eateries that set up in spaces like hotel lobbies, other restaurants that close for the night and places with similar target consumers.  Due to low startup costs, many innovative entrepreneurs such as Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen are utilizing this temporary approach to test a concept, market a new brand and prove to lenders and investors that they are worth the risk.


Connecting Corporate Supply Chains with Small Business to Diversify and Innovate

Supplier Connection, a free online portal created by the IBM Foundation and part of the Obama Administration’s American Supplier Initiative, helps connect small businesses to private sector supply chains.  It aims to address four key challenge areas for small businesses: access to mentorship and counseling services, increased market and revenue opportunities, ready sources of capital to fund their growth, and a highly skilled workforce.


Ziploc Fresh Eating Survey Provides a City-by-City Snapshot of Food-Related Choices Across America

According to the Ziploc Fresh Eating Survey, less than 50% of Americans eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, yet 80% are looking for ways to incorporate fresh ingredients into mealtime.   The top three “freshest cities” are Hartford, CT, San Francisco, CA and Sacramento, CA.  Cities deemed “least fresh” cite lack of fresh food options and proliferation of fast food as main barriers.


Green for Greens: Finding Public Financing for Healthy Food Retail

The National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity releases a guide on where to find public money for projects that bring healthy food to low-income neighborhoods with real-world examples and ways to identify and get funds for your community’s proposal.

Convenience Stores: Opportunities, Challenges, Ideas for Food Marketing

The first installment of the report “C-Growth: Using Shopper Research to Grow C-Store Sales” was released in February, including qualitative shopper research conducted in fall 2011 that reveals shoppers want more control and rewards out of their convenience store visits.  The report is a tool to guide convenience store operators to create engaging shopping experiences. 


Clicks & Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture and Consumer Behavior

A recent study shows that about 50% of consumers learn about food, recipes, meal planning, retailers and how to cook via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.  Digital food selection is a visual and rational process, placing higher emphasis on retailers to develop their brand and online campaign to evoke an emotional connection from consumers.