TitleReaching Low-Income Mothers to Improve Family Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Food Hero Social Marketing Campaign
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsTobey, LN, Koenig, H, Brown, N, Manore, MM
Date Published2016

The objective of this study was to create/test a social marketing campaign to increase
fruit/vegetable (FV) intake within Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
eligible families. Focus groups (n = 2) and pre/post campaign phone surveys (n = 2082) were
conducted in intervention counties (IC) and one control county. Participants were female (86%–100%)
with 1–2 children at home. Mean FV intake/without juice was 3.1 servings/day; >50% preferred the
Internet for delivery of healthy eating information. Participants reported time/financial burdens, low
household FV variety and desirability of frozen/canned FV, and acceptance of positive messages.
A Food Hero (FH) campaign was created/delivered daily August–October 2009 to mothers through
multiple channels (e.g., grocery stores, online, educators). Results showed that the IC had better FH
name recall (12%) and interpretation of intended messages (60%) vs. control (3%, 23%, respectively).
Compared to controls, the IC were less likely to report healthy food preparation as time consuming or
a FV rich diet expensive, and it was easier to get their family to eat fruit. Results did not vary based
on county/household characteristics. The FH campaign increased FH awareness and positive FV
beliefs. A longer campaign with FV assessments will increase understanding of the target audience,
and allow for campaign refinement.