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
KeywordsMarketing, MBA

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.