Corner Stores in Minneapolis Okay with Requirement to Sell Healthy Produce

Since 2008, as a condition of doing business, the city of Minneapolis requires corner stores to sell perishable produce. The current requirement is to sell five varieties of fresh produce and for stores that are certified by the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) 7 varieties and 30 pounds in total stock are required. According to Governing magazine, Minneapolis is the first city to move from incentives to requirements.

Minneapolis only cited three stores as non-compliant in 2011. Advocates say the initial data from compliant stores show produce sales making up a growing share of store revenue. It is, however, too early to tell if the requirement improves the overall health of city residents.

The city does provide help to the corner grocery stores. They get $400 worth of displays and signage as well as an initial $200 stipend from the city.

Governing reports that other cities may follow suit. ChangeLab Solutions in California is touting the model in its state and is reported to be in conversation with some cities.