Federal and state government agencies are challenging schools to get children to eat more healthful foods. In many states, school grants are directly related to participation rates, so the success of these programs is vital.
Making the healthy options available is just the first step. Getting the kids to choose the healthy options is the next step.
Nancy Lane, our Education Account Development Manager, has worked with middle schools in Ohio and Kentucky to test the effect of visual merchandising on the selection of healthy choices. At Hubert, our merchandising solutions are based on five key elements: color, landscaping, texture, communication and décor. We apply these elements to any type of visual merchandising we do, from grocery stores to dining halls to cafeteria lunch lines. Our visual merchandising solutions help to turn a passive looker into an active buyer by enticing him or her to make a choice based on the way a product looks or how appealing it is.
Introduction to Visual Merchandising
Conner Middle School: Visual Merchandising
Conner Middle School in Hebron, KY has made healthy items available, but students were not selecting them. Nancy conducted an experiment to evaluate how effective visual merchandising would impact the selection of the healthy choices by merchandising their available lunch line. No changes were made to the food offering.
- Sales for the healthy options more than doubled.
- Strawberries, which had previously moved slowly (if at all), were sold out within an hour.
- Bananas, which previously sold at 2/3 a case per week, were sold in their entirety in one day.
Grab and Go: Display Guide
Edgewood Middle School: Visual Merchandising
Edgewood Middle School in Trenton, OH has also made healthy options available. Unlike Conner Middle School, Nancy visited Edgewood and merchandised one of two lunch lines in order to have a control. As with Conner Middle School no changes were made to the food offering, only the merchandising surrounding one of the lunch lines.
- There was a drastic increase in fruit consumption on the merchandised line.
- The kids were cognizant of the difference between the lines and mentioned that the food in the merchandised line “tasted better.”
- The second and third lunch periods had students lined up out the cafeteria door for the merchandised line.
- Edgewood recently received high marks in merchandising on their state review due to this merchandising experiment.
Getting Started with Visual Merchandising
Looking to have an effect on the intake of healthy lunch options through visual merchandising? Here are some questions to guide you in getting started:
How Do I Get Started?
- Who is your target market?
- What image do you want to project to your target market?
- What is your budget for décor?
- What specific areas do you want to visually merchandise?
- What theme or look are you trying to create?
- Do you want a consistent theme throughout your facility or do you want to create visually different looks in each area?
- Do you want year-round, seasonal or everyday types of décor?
Questions? Give us a call!
Education Account Development Manager, Hubert Company
866-650-7374 ext. 8658
9555 Dry Fork Rd.
Harrison, OH 45030
Toll free: 1-866-482-4357