Navigation Menu+

Grocery stores: Feature healthy items

1. LEAD. Walmart managers say parents appreciate healthy checkout aisles.

A growing number of West Virginia Walmarts and grocery stores have created “healthy checkout aisles” that feature healthy snacks and active toys in the checkout line shelves, rather than candy and movie magazines.


Colorful signs draw attention to the healthy checkout aisles.

In 2011, three Parkersburg-area WalMarts and two Foodlands agreed to take candy and movie magazines out of one aisle of at least 15 and substitute fruit and toys that promote healthy activity. “Customers liked it. We had good sales,” said Parkersburg manager Kevin Ohse. “That’s the bottom line.”

Now all WV WAlMarts have permission to set up a healthy checkout aisle, thanks to the efforts of the Change the Future WV program of the state Bureau for Public Health. “Every family goes to a grocery store,” said program manager Carrie Brainard. “We’re not asking them to give up their traditional checkout aisles. We’re asking them to give customers a choice that does not force them to take their kids past rows of candy.”


To make your grocery store a healthier experience …


I never expected it to be this successful, but I love it that it is,” said Parkersburg Foodland manager Dave Worst of the healthy checkout aisle in his store. Photo: Kate Long

  • Ask your WalMarts and grocery stores to open healthy checkout aisles: Now most West Virginia WalMarts have permission to open healthy checkout aisles. The Crosslanes WalMart has opened the Charleston area’s first healthy lane. Several Foodlands are having good success with the aisles.  See this newspaper story and video: and (video) 
  •  Here’s the agreement between the Mid-OhioValley Health Department and WalMart and Foodlands:
  • Ask the store to feature healthy toys and snacks instead of movie magazines, etc.   West Virginia stores find that the items that are featured sell, sometimes three times as many. Managers say customers thank them and many prefer the healthy aisle. (See video above)

    In Fayette County, the WVU Extension Service has arranged for local Foodlands to display decals on the healthy food students have been studying in school. Photo: Kate Long

  • Put up special displays of popular vegetables and fruits. They sell. See fresh produce in convenience stores page
  • Sponsor healthy grocery store tours. See help people read labels page.
  • Coordinate between grocery stores and schools, to feature fresh produce:  Fayette County Schools piloted the Organwise Guys program ( In the nutrition-exercise program, kids learn about their internal organs and the way food affects the by giving the organs fun names and Sesame Street-type personalities.  The local Foodland cooperated by displaying the children’s drawings and by putting Organwise decals on/near organ-friendly food.

Related Try This pages: Healthy food in convenience stories. the power of attractive presentation, healthy food = economic development


Have something to add? Write it in “comments” below, with your contact info, in case we have questions.



  1. Here’s what’s on this Web site | Try This - […] Feature healthy items in grocery stores < RELABEL: […]
  2. Ask convenience stores to sell fresh produce | Try This - […] Try This pages: Healthy checkout aisles and other ways of promoting fresh food in grocery stores: The power…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *