In today's NY Post (for some reason online links are unavailable), Stephanie Gaskell follows up on the story about the NYC Department of Health’s (DOH) effort to get bodegas to sell healthier food. The Alliance's Richard Lipsky is quoted saying that the health officials need to establish the demand for these products, and if they do, the bodegas will supply them to consumers. "We can't create demand," he said.
This sentiment is echoed by Bodega Association president, Jose Fernandez, who told the Post that "If people ask their bodega owners to stock something, we will try to stock it." If the DOH is really serious about this what is needs is an incentive program that would give the bodegueros motivation to participate: "Lipsky suggested that if the city lowered fines and fees it might alleviate any cost associated with stocking healthier foods."
The funniest take on all this is provided by Post columnist Steve Cuozzo who points out that Wendy's has just discontinued its fruit menu. He reports that customers hated the menu "despite a $20 million promo budget..." He then goes on to make fun of health food stores and suggests that the city would be better off promoting Twinkies at these fru fru stores. The last word is Lipsky's, "...you have to remember that it's still a business."