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Ask convenience stores to sell fresh produce

2. fresh produce. convenience stores

At the Amma Quick Stop, “this fruit is definitely selling,” said clerk Chelly Nicholson. “Customers thank us for having them,” she said. “They don’ have to drive to Clendenin to get it.”


The Turnpike convenience store at the Beckley exit features fruit as a equal option to candy. “We don’t want to take away anybody’s choices. We just want to add to the choices,” said Mingo County Diabetes Coalition founder Vicki Lynn Hatfield.

In 2012-13, more than 150 West Virginia convenience stores started offering fresh fruits and vegetables.

“The vegetables and fruits are definitely selling,” said clerk Chelly Nicholson at the Amma Quick Stop. “Customers thank us for having them.”

They got free display baskets from the “Change the Future WV” program of  the state Bureau of Public Health. The displays are one way the state is trying to make healthy food more available.

West Virginia – like much of the South – has hair-raising chronic disease and obesity rates. Doctors recommend a fresh, healthy diet, but many West Virginians have no grocery store near their homes. Fresh produce at the convenience store helps them eat the kind of diet doctors say reduces their risk of obesity and chronic disease.

The statewide Little General chain agreed to display and sell fresh produce. Their sales were so good, the statewide Go-Mart chain agreed to do the same.

The fact that fresh produce sells in neighborhoods illustrates two things, Bureau of Public Health staff say: (1) people want fresh produce and (2) attractive product placement can make a big difference in sales.

After the West Virginia Turnpike’s Beckley convenience store put up a prominent fruit display saying FRUIT IS FAST FOOD, “customers were really buying those items,” the store manager said.

Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control ended funding for the Change the Future program nationwide in 2015. But we can still build on their success. Their success stories are at


Want to convince your local convenience stores to carry fresh fruits and vegetables?


The Change the Future display and sign

Related Try This pages: Healthy checkout aisles and other ways of promoting fresh food in grocery stores;  The power of attractive food presentation.


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