2021 Retail RD of the Year: Allison Delaney, MS, RD, LDN, Stop & Shop

May 12, 2021
Annette Maggi

Last week at the Virtual Experience, the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance announced the recipient of this year’s Retail RD of the Year Award. Allison Delaney, the winner, is the Nutrition Partners Program Lead at Stop & Shop. Just as she was about to launch an in-store dietitian program last year, the global pandemic hit. She quickly pivoted and launched a fully virtual program in April of 2020. The impact on consumer education was seen almost immediately, as the first four months of scheduled webinars sold out within hours of the program announcement. 

Allison is responsible for developing and executing Nutrition Partners™ strategic plan, from the program's curriculum and budget to the marketing strategy and omnichannel tactics. In late 2020, she created the Nutrition Partners vendor sponsorship program, outlining product inclusion criteria, marketing and merchandising tactics, and pricing. Allison manages external relationships with brands, as well as internal relationships with Stop & Shop's shopper marketing, circular, website, omnichannel, marketing, and operations teams to execute these partnerships.  Stop & Shop Nutrition Partners has had hundreds of customers register for the virtual classes and submit health and wellness questions to the "Ask the Expert" email address. Allison continues to lead efforts to creatively connect with customers virtually.

Prior to building the Nutrition Partners program, Allison worked as a Private Brands Manager. She was responsible for driving Private Brands sales, margin, and penetration in collaboration with the Category, Merchandising and Pricing teams. She contributed to business and marketing plans to support the Private Brands strategy. These experiences allowed for the successful implementation of the retail dietitian program from the initial ideation, to defining the strategic plan, and continually encouraging her team to offer new innovative services to reach customers.    

“Allison’s past experiences and knowledge of sustainability and product development, as well as her work in launching our Guiding Stars nutrition rating program, have allowed not only for her success in this role, but that of the program as well,” comments Mark Gilliand, Director of Private Brands at Stop & Shop.

Award Finalists

A talented group of retail dietitians were nominated for this year’s award, showcasing the amazing talent and work of these individuals in driving health and wellbeing as a public health initiative and business priority. The four runner-ups for this year award are:

Andrew Akhaphong, RD, LD, Pn1, CPT, Mackenthun's Fine Foods. Andrew has successfully become the face of health and wellness for Mackenthun’s and continually strives to challenge himself to learn more, promote more and be relevant to a diverse consumer base.

Natalie Gillett, MS, RD, ShopRite Inserra Supermarkets. Some of Natalie’s most desirable traits include her enthusiasm to learn and educate customers of all ages, her creativity, and her business-driven mind. Natalie takes the initiative to develop her own programming, targeting the needs of her store demographics with innovative classes, presentations, and other events.

Andie Lee Gonzalez, PhD, MPH, RDN, LD, FAND, Sales Marketing Representative for H-E-B Nutrition Services. She has described her work ethic as being instilled by her father, and her colleagues have witnessed the family support she receives to be able to pour her heart into everything she does. It’s this work ethic that inspires her to push further and work harder to accomplish her career goals.

Elisa Sloss, RD, LD, Vice President, HealthMarkets at Hy-Vee, Inc. In her current role, she manages the corporate RD program and oversees the sales, merchandising, and educational efforts of Hy-Vee's HealthMarkets, which are a distinct store-within-a-store concept inside Hy-Vee stores that offer items for customers focused on healthy lifestyles or managing specific conditions through diet. Elisa has overseen a team of five HealthMarket supervisors who manage 196 HealthMarket locations. Elisa also networks with community businesses for wellness partnerships and programs on behalf of Hy-Vee, to encourage the health and wellness of the customers they serve in eight states.

Please join us in recognizing the amazing work and talent of winner Allison Delaney and our other award finalists!