Foods Homescan data uses a consumer panel that comprises 15,000 randomly selected households across the United States. Among these data are purchase data and demographic information for all households in the sample. The USDA Economic Research Center has used these data to obtain purchase information for random-weight, non-uniform product code (UPC)-coded food purchases such as fruit and vegetables, in addition to the standard fixed-weight UPC-coded products. A special feature of the Fresh Foods Homescan data is that the panelists record their food purchases from all retail outlets that sell food for home consumption, including grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, supercenters, and convenience stores. Information about where the purchase was made and whether it was made with a promotion, sale, or coupon is also tracked (Leibtag, 2005). These types of commercial data may be used for longitudinal epidemiological studies or for surveillance of national food- and nutrient-purchasing patterns within and between countries and segments of populations (Van Wave and Decker, 2003).
Marketers pay to advertise and promote branded products through a variety of media channels, referred to as measured media and unmeasured media. The spending categories for measured media correspond to the categories that are tracked by media research companies such as Nielsen, TNS Media Intelligence/Competitive Media Reporting, and Forrester. Commonly tracked measured media includes television (e.g., network, spot, cable, syndicated, and Spanish-language networks), radio (e.g., network, national spot, and local radio), magazines (e.g., local and Sunday magazines), business publications, newspapers (e.g., local and national), outdoor advertising, telephone directory advertising, and the Internet. Spending on unmeasured media (including sales promotions, coupons, direct mail, catalogs, and special events) is not systematically tracked. Therefore, to be able to assess changes in spending on advertising and marketing for healthier food and beverage products consumed by children and youth, there must be a way to assess spending across all media categories (measured and unmeasured).
This section illustrates how the evaluation framework described earlier in this report (Chapter 2) can be applied to two specific examples—industry’s collective efforts to develop and promote the consumption of low-calorie and high nutrient-density beverage products by children and youth and efforts by corporations to promote physical activity among chil-