Two new academic papers on healthy eating and sport

The last few weeks of 2016 saw the release in early view of two new articles on which I am co-author.  Both are slightly unrelated directly to retailing, but they do have tangential interest for those who know my broader concerns. Both are available to download in final accepted manuscript form from our institutional depository, and if anyone wants the pdf of the early cite/view then please contact me and I will see what is possible.

Healthy Eating

The first article, co-authored with colleagues from the Institute for Social Marketing, here at Stirling and from the University of Dundee, concerns an NPRI funded project on The Impact of a targeted direct marketing price provision (Buywell) on food purchasing behaviour by low income consumers.  This was a large randomised controlled trial aimed at assessing the feasibility and impact of a targeted direct marking intervention on a large sample of low income consumers from a leading UK food retailer.

The results show that the intervention had an effect, albeit modest, on short-term food purchasing behaviour.  This would be expected a priori, but not necessarily in terms of encouraging product switching and more healthy purchasing by low income consumers.  Sustaining the effect requires further consideration.

CSR and Sport

The second article involves colleagues at Stirling, Molde/UCLan Cyprus and Salford.  The paper derived, from work by one of my ex-PhD students concerns the co-creation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) value by professional team sport organisations.  The paper covers three questions:

  • Why have sports teams developed charitable foundations?
  • What CSR related resources do these foundations access from these sports teams?
  • How is CSR value co-created?

A conceptual framework using the metaphor of communicating vessels is proposed as the integrated concept linking the sports team and the charitable foundation.

Without stretching it too far, there is a link of sorts across the articles.  Both concern businesses (food retailer, sports teams) that wish to connect with big social issues as exemplified by the concerns of their consumers/areas/fans.  Given the significance of such problems, it is likely that more organisations will seek to understand and modify their behaviours.

References and Abstracts

Stead M, MacKintosh AM, Findlay A, Sparks L, Anderson AS, Barton K and D Eadie – Impact of a targeted direct marketing price promotion intervention (Buywell) on food purchasing behaviour by low income consumers: a randomised controlled trial.  Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. DOI 10.1111/jhn.12441

Price promotions are a promising intervention for encouraging healthier food purchasing. We aimed to assess the impact of a targeted direct marketing price promotion combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions on the purchase of selected healthier foods by low income consumers. We conducted a randomised controlled trial (n = 53 367) of a direct marketing price promotion (Buywell) combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions for low income consumers identified as ‘less healthy’ shoppers. Impact was assessed using electronic point of sale data for UK low income shoppers before, during and after the promotion. The proportion of customers buying promoted products in the
intervention month increased by between 1.4% and 2.8% for four of the five products. There was significantly higher uptake in the promotion month (P < 0.001) for the intervention group than would have been expected on the basis of average uptake in the other months. When product switching was examined for semi-skimmed/skimmed milk, a modest increase (1%) was found in the intervention month of customers switching
from full-fat to low-fat milk. This represented 8% of customers who previously bought only full-fat milk. The effects were generally not sustained after the promotion period.
We conclude that short-term direct marketing price promotions combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions targeted at low income consumers are feasible and can have a modest impact on short-term food-purchasing behaviour, although further approaches are needed to help sustain these changes.

Kolyperas D, Anagnostopoulos C, Chadwick S & Sparks L (2016) Applying a Communicating Vessels Framework to CSR Value Co-creation: Empirical Evidence of Professional Team Sport Organizations, Journal of Sport Management, 30, 702-719.

Despite the increasing number and significance of charitable foundations in various business sectors, their role in co-creating corporate social responsibility (CSR) value remains unclear. This paper identifies CSR value co-creation in professional team sport organizations (PTSOs) and answers three key research questions: 1) Why have PTSOs developed charitable foundations as their means toward CSR value co-creation? 2) What CSR-related resources do PTSOs and their charitable foundations integrate? and (3) How do they manage, share and transfer such resources in order to co-create CSR value? Drawing theoretical insights from Service Dominant Logic (SDL) and consumer culture theory (CCT) – and using empirical data from 47 semi-structured interviews of UK-based professional football (soccer) clubs – this study develops a communicating vessels (CV) framework to illustrate the role of charitable foundations in the CSR value co-creation process. Through four tentative CSR value co-creation levels of relationship (bolt-on, cooperative, controlled, and strategic) the study suggests several internal strategies that can enhance the level of collaboration between founders and foundations. These include information-sharing through CRM systems and social media platforms; staff-sharing or flexible movement across the organizations; quality assurance agreements; flexible team cooperation; partnership protocols with social, media, cultural, and commercial stakeholders; and co-training of personnel.


About Leigh Sparks

I am Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, where I research and teach aspects of retailing and retail supply chains, alongside various colleagues. I am Chair of Scotland's Towns Partnership. I am also a Deputy Principal of the University, with responsibility for Education and Students and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
This entry was posted in Academics, Advertising, Communications, Consumer Lifestyle, Cooperative Group, CSR, Diet and Health, Food Retailing, Pricing, Promotion, Sport and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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