A handful of convenience stores in Topeka plan to cut back on their salty snack food offerings, and instead, sell more healthy snacks.
Each store agreed to create a rack of healthy, low-sodium items.
“When you go into convenience stores, you don’t often think about ‘healthy,’ but what we wanted to do was create a choice for the consumer,” said Erin Tynon, public health educator for the Shawnee County Health Agency, to the Topeka Capital-Journal.
In October 2010, the CDC awarded Sodium Reduction in Communities grants to several communities or states to work on reducing salty snacks in stores. Kansas was one of those states.
Tynon said “a lot” of managers said their customers don’t ask for low-sodium foods. She said the convenience stores that have gotten involved in the initiative have been enthusiastic about it.
The Hy-Vee Convenience Store, Gas & Shop c-store, Larry’s Shortstop and 10 local Kwik Shops agreed to put the standalone racks with healthier, low-sodium foods in the front of their stores. The grants provided these stores with the racks, as well as promotional signage, technical assistance and advertising.
The low-sodium food initiative is financed by a three-year grant, worth more than $930,000 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.