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Research on Retail Food and Beverages

Evaluation of Healthy Checkout Ordinance

Berkeley, California

On March 1, 2021, Berkeley, CA, implemented an ordinance to improve the healthfulness of food and beverages sold within 3 ft. of cash registers in large commercial food establishments such as supermarkets or grocery stores, selling ≥25 linear ft. of food.

Policy Provisions

  • Allowable checkout food and beverage categories: chewing gum and mints with no added sugars, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, yogurt or cheese, or whole grains.
  • Beverages at checkout cannot have added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
  • Foods at checkout cannot have ≥5 grams of added sugars and/or ≥200 mg of sodium per serving.


  • Team: Evaluation led by Dr. Jennifer Falbe (UC-Davis research team) in collaboration with Dr. Lisa Powell (UIC research team).
  • Research design and objective:  Difference-in-differences pre-post intervention-comparison site research design to assess changes in the availability of foods and beverages sold at checkout and retailer compliance with the policy one year after policy implementation.
  • Methods: Photo-centric food store audits were conducted across 8 types of food stores (e.g., chain supermarkets, independent grocery stores, drug stores) in intervention and comparison sites at baseline (4 weeks pre-implementation) and follow-up (11 months post-implementation).