Current Nutrition Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 129–138 | Cite as

A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Supermarket-Based Interventions Involving Product, Promotion, or Place on the Healthiness of Consumer Purchases

  • Adrian J. CameronEmail author
  • Emma Charlton
  • Winsfred W. Ngan
  • Gary Sacks
Cardiovascular Disease (JHY Wu, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Cardiovascular Disease



The supermarket is increasingly recognised as a key environment to promote healthy eating. No previous reviews have focused specifically on the effectiveness of interventions that target the in-store supermarket environment for improving the healthiness of population food purchases.


Systematic review of supermarket-based interventions related to nutrition. Interventions were included if they related to the type of products available for sale, promotion or consumer education and/or product placement. Interventions related to price and on-pack labelling were excluded. Outcomes included food purchasing, food consumption or body weight. Study quality was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project quality assessment tool.


Of 50 included studies, the majority were conducted in the USA (74 %), with 33 % published in the last 3 years. Seventy percent of studies were rated as moderate (n = 11) or high (n= 24) quality. Positive effects were observed in 35 studies (70 %). Of the 15 studies that reported null or negative findings, most (n = 12) did not have a strong study design, large sample size or duration longer than 1 month.


Most high-quality studies targeting the supermarket food environment reported improvements in the healthiness of consumer purchases in response to the intervention. Although it is difficult to identify specific intervention options that are likely to be most effective and sustainable in this setting, shelf labelling (particularly using nutrition summary scores) stands out as being particularly promising.


Supermarket Intervention Review Obesity 



The authors are currently working with a supermarket chain (Champions IGA) in a publicly funded collaborative project (with local and state government) to test a range of healthy eating interventions. No funding has been received from the retailer, but sales data are provided.

Financial Support

This work was supported by a VicHealth Innovation Grant (#22510) and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) [training fellowship APP1013313 to AJC; AJC and GS are researchers within a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Obesity Policy and Food Systems (APP1041020)]. AJC and GS are the recipients of Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (project numbers DE160100141 and DE160100307).

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Adrian J. Cameron has received financial support through grants from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council (ARC) and VicHealth.

Emma Charlton has received financial support through a grant from VicHealth.

Winsfred W. Ngan has received financial support through a grant from VicHealth.

Gary Sacks has received financial support through grants from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council (ARC) and VicHealth.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 27 kb)
13668_2016_172_MOESM2_ESM.docx (108 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 107 kb)


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian J. Cameron
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Emma Charlton
    • 1
    • 2
  • Winsfred W. Ngan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gary Sacks
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Health and Social DevelopmentDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Global Obesity CentreDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

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