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Our objectives were to explore attitudes regarding food retail policy and government regulation among managers of small food stores and examine whether manager views changed due to the 2014 Minneapolis Staple Foods Ordinance, a city policy requiring retailers to stock specific healthy products.
Manager interviewer-administered surveys were used to assess views on food retail policy four times from 2014 to 2017. We examined baseline views across manager and store and neighbourhood characteristics using cross-sectional regression analyses and examined changes over time using mixed regression models. In 2017, open-ended survey questions asked about manager insights on the Minneapolis Staple Foods Ordinance.
Minneapolis, MN, where the ordinance was enacted, and St. Paul, MN, a control community, USA.
Managers from 147 small food retail stores.
At baseline, 48 % of managers were likely to support a policy requiring stores to stock healthy foods/beverages, 67·5 % of managers were likely to support voluntary programmes to help retailers stock healthy foods and 23·7 % agreed government regulation of business is good/necessary. There was a significant increase in overall support for food retail policies and voluntary programmes from 2014 to 2017 (P < 0·01); however, neither increase differed by city, suggesting no differential impact from the ordinance. Minneapolis store managers reported some challenges with ordinance compliance and offered suggestions for how local government could provide support.
Findings suggest that managers of small food retail stores are becoming increasingly amenable to healthy food policies; yet, challenges need to be addressed to ensure healthy food is available to all customers.
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