We chose a box model rather than a traditional market model for multiple reasons: 1.) Based on advice from a similar program in Ohio, we believed a box model would allow us to better predict how much food to order and minimize waste and financial loss; 2.) We could take advantage of seasonal gluts and discounted produce from our food aggregators; 3). We could use pre-packed boxes from our home delivery partner; and 4.) We believed that a box model would encourage customers to purchase more produce (and thus increase their F&V consumption more substantially) than if they were just picking the individual items they wanted. During the initial pilot, we found that while some customers purchased individual items, most purchased the boxes because it was the best deal.
We evaluated the pilot using a pre-post study design. After the 3-month VV pilot, individuals purchasing produce from the VV weekly or every other week (high users) increased their F&V consumption by 2.1 servings/day compared to no increase (-0.1 servings) for those who purchased 1 time per month or less (low users). In general, we found that most customers purchased the boxes of produce since they were a better deal than purchasing individual items. Learn more about the research and download articles.