My local grocery store recently went through a remodel. Even thought it’s been a few months now since the remodel completion, I still can’t find items when I shop. They’ve moved. All the aisles are reconfigured and products are now shelved differently. I find myself annoyed, seeing grocery shopping as more of a chore than ever before.
Eating habits across America continue to shift, with a recent Nielson survey showing that 39% of the population is actively trying to eat more plant-based foods. FoodNavigator-USA lists “plant-based innovation” as a top trend for 2018 (1). Food companies are responding with an increasing number of plant-based products taking up their fair share of the meat and dairy cases.
Educational events centered around an entire food group allows you to drive traffic to different departments, promote the unique nutritional benefits of key foods, and highlight new items or private brand products. Such promotions also offer the opportunity to partner with key organizations who can support your efforts with content and resources. The Whole Grains Council (WGC) and Oldways, for example, has an entire program centered around whole grain sampling and many retailers are turning this day into a successful selling event.
When Heather Steele, RD, LD, Dietitian for Reasor’s Foods says she likes to dig into her work, she’s not kidding. One year ago, Heather started the Dig with a Dietitian program and has been getting her hands dirty ever since. The program provides free nutrition and gardening classes to local underserved communities and helps the retailer achieve its goals for community outreach and education.
By partnering with grocery managers, ShopRite’s Health and Wellness team, which includes over 100 in-store and corporate dietitians servicing over 140 ShopRite stores across the Northeast, has created a food-focused communication strategy called Well Everyday that inspires customers to eat well while helping them to think differently about wellness. Stephanie Perez, MPH, RD, Retail Dietitian Supervisor and Allison Ryder, Health & Wellness Project Manager for Wakefern Food Corporation, share information on how this program is meeting consumer needs and driving sales.
Today’s shoppers are more health-minded than ever and seek foods and beverages that support their well-being. As a result, probiotics are no longer reserved for those with gut issues or as a way to maintain regularity.
Les Dames d’Escoffier is an international philanthropic organization of women leaders in the fields of food, beverage and hospitality. While nutrition enters their discussions, the group’s primary focus is on the multifaceted foodscape. Their annual trend report provides an array of learnings with application to retail health and wellness as detailed here.
Although the supermarket is full of healthier food choices, fresh departments are especially well positioned to provide the food selections, education and guidance consumers desire and the expertise of the Retail Dietitian must be an integral part of programming. FMI recently released their report “Best Practices and Excellence in Fresh Department Health & Wellness Programming” to provide retailers insights for implementing and executing profitable programs that meet consumer needs and features exemplary examples of initiatives at retail.
A research paper published by Nielsen in August 2016 found that 64% of the world’s population are on some form of exclusion diet. Whether a consumer changes their food habits for ethical, medical, lifestyle, or religious reasons, finding suitable food still becomes an enormous struggle. It is often immediately more expensive, and reading product labels can be time consuming and confusing.
People are passionate about their favorite treats and have an emotional connection to them. That being said, the negative publicity surrounding sugar is making consumers think twice about their sweet consumption. The International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) 2018 Food & Health Survey indicates that over half of respondents state they are eliminating candy to decrease sugar consumption. In addition, food activists are pressuring confectionary sales at check out. Considering these evolving factors and the growth of health and wellness at retail, the NCA launched their Always a Treat Initiative to assist supermarkets and consumers with balanced solutions.