Caroline Elementary School’s hybrid garden: a case study in social marketing

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Purpose – This study aims to examine the installation of a garden at an elementary school. Bringing in elements of healthy eating choices, the local food movement and social marketing implications for all stakeholders, this study examines the genesis and launch of the garden and related activities. It reviews initial results, again with an eye to different stakeholder groups. Design/methodology/approach – The case study methodology was applied. Findings – The case study method provides some depth of detail to a unique and specific circumstance. As such it allows bringing together so many streams of the literature in a social marketing context and illuminates how and why such an installation works (and does not work). Research limitations/implications – This analysis focuses on a specific example, in a specific location and at a specific time. While potentially extendable, any such attempt should be made with care. Practical implications – Social marketing installations are hard. This example demonstrates how even the best-intentioned program, with almost universal agreement on its positive aspects, can be difficult to execute. Social implications – This case illustrates full range of social marketing concepts applied to an initiative but is particularly illustrative of the potential and importance of including all stakeholders in co-creation while fully understanding their context, perceived benefits and perceived costs/barriers. Originality/value – This study uniquely brings together several strains of theory (food literacy, health eating choices by children, institutional food services and local food) and applies them separately and together in a single application.

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Journal of Social Marketing

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