Many Benefits of Outreach to Local Businesses
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
When it comes to promoting your store’s healthy meal options and wellness resources, you may find some very receptive audiences working at local businesses. Establishing a relationship with companies in your community gives you access to busy, working individuals who are often trying to juggle multiple accountabilities and they are “hungry” for quick, healthy meal ideas and access to the various services you offer as a retail dietitian.
The following examples highlight how you can make connections with businesses, educate them on your resources and drive engagement that benefits you both.
- It is estimated that more than two-thirds of businesses offer wellness programs as part of their benefits package. Reach out to employer health coordinators to see how you can provide expertise to assist with their program. Most companies will welcome a lunch and learn presentation on a variety of health topics. Use these opportunities to promote your better-for-you private label products, value-added produce items and prepared foods while demonstrating how to create easy meals after a busy work day.
- If you have catering and delivery services available offer to provide healthy selections for breakfast or lunch meetings. To encourage healthy snacking the wellness committee may want suggestions on nutrient-rich options. For smaller businesses, you may be able to package up a weekly supply of healthy snacks that the company could purchase. Employees pay in the break room for their selection and funds go toward next week’s purchases.
- Does the company have a health and wellness newsletter or on-line wellness portal? If so offer to provide timely articles such as brown bag lunch ideas, or a link to your store’s recipes. Also, providing a dinner menu plan and shopping list for the week will encourage family mealtime along with traffic and sales for your store.
- If your store has a pharmacy that offers health screenings, you could pitch those services along with a presentation on how to prevent expensive chronic illnesses.
- Use educational sessions to promote other services your store(s) offer to help working families and individuals save time and money. Digital coupons, on-line shopping and pick-up or delivery, prepared meals to go, lunch menus, easy recipes, or even small time-saving appliances and kitchen gadgets.
Establishing a win-win partnership with local businesses is a great way to help them develop a healthy workforce while creating a loyal customer base for your retailer.