Mom-and-pop grocer gives SNAP recipients an organic foods discount
A mom-and-pop grocer in New Hampshire is making it a better deal for customers on government assistance to buy organic.
The retailer, named The Local Grocer, has partnered with national non-profit Fair Food Network on an initiative called Double Up Food Bucks, according to The Conway Daily Sun. Through the program, customers using SNAP benefits can get 50 percent off on the store’s selection of locally grown, organic produce.
While the partnership is aimed at SNAP recipients, a recent study shows that customers in general would choose organic if not for it being cost prohibitive, as reported by Consumer Reports. Organic foods are an average of 47 percent more expensive than non-organic products, though prices vary significantly by product.
Despite the high prices, interest continues to boom. The organic food market hit an all-time sales high of $47.9 billion in 2018, according to AGWeek. Fruits and vegetables account for 36.3 percent of organic food sales and 14.6 percent of all produce sold in the U.S.
Some of the biggest names in retail have also been pursuing new means of allowing SNAP recipients to shop in today’s changing retail ecosystem.
Amazon.com, for instance, began offering a discount on Amazon Prime memberships to SNAP recipients in 2017. People with valid EBT cards can sign up for a one-year membership at a rate of $5.99 a month.
Earlier this year, Walmart announced that it was accepting SNAP for online grocery order at all 2,500+ locations that allow for online pickup, giving low-income shoppers access to BOPIS, according to TechCrunch. The move comes after a successful small-scale pilot in 2017.
The question of what products SNAP benefits should be used to buy remains an ongoing point of controversy. Some argue that attempts to limit government aid recipients to healthy products is prejudicial or stigmatizing, while others promote instituting nutritional standards aimed at improving the health of lower-income customers.
- The Local Grocer launches financial assistance for shoppers – The Conway Daily Sun
- US organic market tops $50 billion – AGWeek
- The cost of organic food – Consumer Reports
- Will new payment options make Amazon Prime memberships even more popular? – RetailWire
- Walmart now accepts SNAP for online grocery orders at all 2,500 pickup locations – TechCrunch
- Is Trump Right to Let Gas Stations Offer SNAP and to Classify Cheese Spray as a Staple? – PSMag
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Should other local, or even national, grocers consider incentivizing healthier choices among people on government aid through this method? Will such moves impact how CPGs position their organic products and where they make them available?