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Home  \  What We Do  \  Community Nutrition ...  \  Ohio Produce Perks  \  2017-2018 Produce Pe...
Retail Evaluation
In 2017, Produce Perks was piloted at Dave's Mercado in Cleveland, OH. Results from this pilot are described in a PRCHN data brief. Since the pilot, Produce Perks is now accepted at 7 locations throughout the state: 5 Dave's Market locations (Cleveland and Akron) as well as in 2 independent retailers, Market on the Green (Toledo), and Clifton Market (Cincinnati). Unlike the farmers' markets, the program is implemented differently at various locations depending on the technical capabilities of each store's point-of-sales system. Dave's has a fully automated system that prints out a $5 or $10 coupon based on how much money a SNAP customer spent on fresh fruits and vegetables. These coupons are printed on the bottom of each receipt. Market on the Green has penny-for-penny voucher match, up to $10 dollars. Cashiers tally up the amount spent on fresh produce and then provide the customer with a written-in voucher with their matched value.
Key metrics that we are using to evaluate the program
  • Dollar amount spent using SNAP or other forms of tender
  • Dollar amount spent on fresh produce
  • Dollar amount of Produce Perks coupons handed out
  • Proportion of  coupons that were redeemed
  • Number of unique customers who are receiving and redeeming the coupons 
  • The amount of time a customer held onto a coupon before redeeming it 

Small-Scale Interventions

Within Dave's locations, we selected to test three small-scale marketing interventions throughout June and July 2018.  Within three stores, we are testing to see if a Facebook ad is effective in increasing program awareness and usage as well as a mailed circular ad. We also partnered with the PRCHN's FreshLink project, a project that uses community ambassador model to bridge residents to food resources in their communities, to engage customers within the store. The goal of these small-scale interventions isto gather data about different messaging strategies, measure effectiveness of ads, as well as establish a foundation for partnerships between retail and farmers' market incentive programming. 
Farmers' Market Evaluation
Currently, 83 markets accept Produce Perks across the state. At these participating markets, SNAP customers are eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $20. To better assess the reach and use of the program, all markets enter data into FM Tracks, a novel iOS application and web-based portal to collect, manage, and evaluate information about individual markets. Key evaluation metrics include:
  • Dollar amount of SNAP redeemed at each market
  • Dollar amount of Produce Perks given to SNAP customers 
  • Proportion of Produce Perks that are redeemed at eligible vendors
  • Number of unique SNAP customers reached
  • Number of farmers' or farms reached 

Case Studies: Ohio Farmers' Market Nutrition Incentive Evaluation (OH-FINE)

The purpose of the OH-FINE project is conduct a more in-depth evaluation of marketing and outreach strategies for the Produce Perks program by targeting new and repeat customer questions. In 2017, 14 farmers' markets were selected to represent each region in Ohio.  Over the course of 13 weeks, between June and September, residents in close proximity to these OH-FINE sites received different forms of directed advertisements such as Facebook ads, mail inserts, or post cards to examine the effectiveness of each strategy. 
Main findings from the 2017 OH-FINE project include:
  1.  Faceboook advertising was an effective tool for engaging younger new customers to attend a market but was not effective for older customers.
  2.  Farmers' markets that had moved away from a centrally-located business district experienced dramatic decreases in farmers' market attendance while markets that moved to a more visible location saw increases in attendance. 
  3.  Farmers' markets that are located near public housing or public transportation see greater numbers of new customers 
  4.  Spikes in customer activity were consistently related to WIC-related events held at the market as well as network-supported events such as Farmers' Market Week.
  5.  Returning customers across the board would like to see a greater number and variety of vendors at farmers' markets 
In 2018, 20 markets were selected to participate in the project. The goal this year will be to increase the geographic reach of selected markets for specific zip codes as well as identify a profile of returning customers to help identify strategies to bring customers back to the market. 

2018 OH-FINE Sites

1. Bexley Farmers' Market                                                                       
2. Cleveland Botanical Gardents Farm Stand-Fairfax                           
3. Clintonville Farmers' Market                                                                
4. Coit Road Farmers' Market                                                                   
5. Countryside Farmers' Market at Highland Square                           
6. Countryside Farmers' Market at Howe Meadow                               
7. Findlay Farmers' Market                                                                        
8. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens                         
9. Marion Ohio Farmers' Market                                                               
10-11. Medina County Farmers' Market                                                   
12. New Carlisle Farmers' Market   
13. Northside Farmers' Market
14. North Union Farmers' Market at Shaker Square
15. Prairie Township Farmers' Market       
16. Reynoldsburg Farmers' Market      
17. Shiloh Farmers' Market        
18. Stark Fresh Mobile Market 
19. Summit Lake Neighborhood Farmers' Market 
20. Toledo Farmers' Market 
21. Worthington Farmers' Market        
Case Study Map