- Select Lowe’s Market stores in New Mexico are offering 50% off locally grown produce for SNAP consumers through the New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association in partnership with the Fair Food Network, according to The Packer.
- The Fair Food Network's Double Up Food Bucks program works with retailers and farmers’ markets in 20 states. In New Mexico, the program started with 30 locations in 2015 and increased to 80 last year. “What’s different about the partnership with Lowe’s is that they are reaching a different consumer than our other grocery partner and the main customer base (is) making decisions based on price," Denise Miller, executive director of the New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association, told The Packer.
- The NFMA anticipates the Double Up Food Bucks program will generate $500,000 for its selling partners this year.
Retailers typically shy away from promoting products available to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers. The perception is that these customers don’t spend enough to make such promotions worthwhile, and that calling out these items might lessen their appeal to customers who aren’t as price sensitive.
But depending on the market where a retailer operates, promoting SNAP-eligible items could really pay off. There are more than 44 million SNAP consumers in the U.S. According to a recent report from the U.S Department of Agriculture, they spend the same amount of money as non-SNAP consumers, and on the same things. This includes 40 cents out of every dollar that goes towards “basic items” like meat, produce and dairy.
The growth of the Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks Program, while modest, shows the value for retailers in promoting to SNAP shoppers. It also shows that these shoppers value items like locally grown produce, which is typically associated with more affluent consumers. According to the nonprofit, sales at participating stores and farmers markets tripled between 2015 and 2016. Stores in Kansas and Missouri recently saw a 70% redemption rate, with produce sales increasing 10%.
The opportunity to increase sales with SNAP consumers seems clear. What’s less certain is the future of the SNAP program, with the Trump administration threatening changes.