Public Health Nutrition

Research Paper

A corner store intervention in a low-income urban community is associated with increased availability and sales of some healthy foods

Hee-Jung Songa1 c1, Joel Gittelsohna1, Miyong Kima2, Sonali Suratkara1, Sangita Sharmaa3 and Jean Anlikera4

a1 Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205-2179, USA

a2 Department of Community and Public Health, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, 525 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205-2179, USA

a3 Nutrition Research Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 500 Laureate Way, Rm# 1102, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA

a4 Department of Nutrition, University of Massachusetts, 206A Chenweth Lab, 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9282, USA


Objective While corner store-based nutrition interventions have emerged as a potential strategy to increase healthy food availability in low-income communities, few evaluation studies exist. We present the results of a trial in Baltimore City to increase the availability and sales of healthier food options in local stores.

Design Quasi-experimental study.

Setting Corner stores owned by Korean-Americans and supermarkets located in East and West Baltimore.

Subjects Seven corner stores and two supermarkets in East Baltimore received a 10-month intervention and six corner stores and two supermarkets in West Baltimore served as comparison.

Results During and post-intervention, stocking of healthy foods and weekly reported sales of some promoted foods increased significantly in intervention stores compared with comparison stores. Also, intervention storeowners showed significantly higher self-efficacy for stocking some healthy foods in comparison to West Baltimore storeowners.

Conclusions Findings of the study demonstrated that increases in the stocking and promotion of healthy foods can result in increased sales. Working in small corner stores may be a feasible means of improving the availability of healthy foods and their sales in a low-income urban community.

(Received August 12 2008)

(Accepted January 21 2009)

(Online publication April 30 2009)


c1 Corresponding author: Email