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Farmers’ markets are a food environment venue with the potential to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among rural residents of the United States. This study evaluated a social marketing campaign, Plate It Up Kentucky Proud (PIUKP), to determine the association between exposure to PIUKP and fruit and vegetable purchasing habits.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
This study used a cross-sectional survey design to measure the impact of PIUKP on consumer shopping behaviors at rural farmers’ markets. The surveys were administered in six rural communities with obesity rates greater than 40% over a two-year period. Surveys were completed by 112 farmers’ market patrons in year one and 139 farmers’ market patrons in year two.
Outcome Measures and Analysis
Data were collected in summer 2015 and summer 2016 using a customer intercept survey. The survey included demographic questions and also asked participants about their eating patterns over the past year, including fruit and vegetable intakes. Additionally, barriers to consuming fruits and vegetables were included. Data were imported using SPSS Statistics 23 to perform statistical analyses.
Having recipe cards available at the farmers’ market was associated with influencing the purchase of fruits and vegetables (p<0.001). As well, PIUKP recipe samples were associated with purchasing the ingredients for the recipe (p<0.001) and a willingness to prepare the recipe at home (p<0.001).
Conclusions and Implications
Utilizing social marketing campaigns at farmers’ markets may be an effective way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, which can aid in the prevention and management of many chronic disease conditions, including obesity. This is an important strategy to consider, especially for residents of rural communities in the United States.