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Melbourne hospital convenience store uses price increase to reduce purchases of sugary drinks

20 / 07 / 18

Finding: increasing the price of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) by 20% reduced purchases and increased purchase of healthier alternatives.

Summary:  Researchers implemented a price intervention in the convenience store within the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. A mixed methods design and sales data were used to evaluate a 20% price increase for ‘red’ drinks as per the Victorian State Government framework: non-diet soft drinks, energy drinks, while other drink prices (‘amber’ and ‘green’) were left unchanged.

Beverage volume sales of red beverages decreased by 27.6% and green beverages (water) increased by 26.9%. Amber drinks (diet soft drinks, small pure fruit juices) also decreased by 26.7% despite the price being unchanged. Store staff considered the intervention business-neutral despite a small decrease in beverage revenue. Fifteen percent of customers noticed the price difference and 61% supported the intervention.

Citation: Blake MR, Peeters A Lancsar E et al. Retailer-led sugar-sweetened beverage price increase reduces purchases in a hospital convenience store in Melbourne, Australia: a mixed methods evaluation. J Acad Nutr Diet 2018;118)6):1027-1036