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Scanner Capability Assessment of SNAP-Authorized Small Retailers

Resource type
Research type
Assessing/Improving Operations
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Summary (265.59 KB)
PDF Icon Final Report (4.07 MB)

This study provides current information on adoption of scanning technology among small SNAP-authorized retailers to assess readiness for meeting the Farm Bill requirement, barriers and benefits to adopting scanning technologies, and costs for nonadopting retailers to comply with this requirement. Key findings include the following:

  • Most small SNAP-authorized retailers lack the equipment to comply with the Farm Bill requirement. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) do not have the equipment to identify SNAP-eligible items. Forty-two percent lack a scanning system while 21 percent have a system that cannot identify SNAP-eligible products.
  • Adoption of scanning technology varies by store characteristic. Franchise conveniences stores were most likely to have the equipment needed to comply with the Farm Bill requirement. Adoption was lowest among specialty stores, such as bakeries, fruit, and vegetable markets, and seafood markets.
  • While cost was the most important barrier among nonadopters, over half of nonadopting stores (59 percent) reported that they would adopt scanning systems to retain SNAP authorization. However, meeting the Farm Bill requirement would be costly, averaging between $7,000 to $10,500 per retailer, depending on the store type.
Page updated: October 04, 2023