I remember sharing a cab ride to an event with two retail RD program leaders. During the ride, they were discussing strategies to manage the 500+ emails they get each day. This story reflects the stress that many retail RDs manage in their roles. Random work hours, demands of multiple store categories, support of marketing, communications, and operations and a host of other departments can all contribute to a stressful work life.
As retail dietitians, we regularly navigate a tricky path between managing business requirements while providing meaningful and effective wellness guidance for supermarket shoppers. This is a task that is complicated enough under the best of circumstances. But as many of us have experienced in retail, the only constant is change itself. There have been many ‘disruptors’ recently, from the rise of e-commerce to the growth of small format stores, but perhaps one of the most intimidating disruptions happening at retail is the increase of retail mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the last few years. However, these types of changes can bring great opportunities to you and your wellness initiatives if you maintain a flexible perspective while aligning with your retailer’s new strategic plan.
The Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) is always a whirlwind of events and sessions. If you’re planning on attending FNCE in Washington DC this month there are a number of exciting educational sessions that may be helpful to your work as a retail dietitian. Here is a list to help make your planning a bit easier:
Retail Dietitians spend a great deal of time encouraging consumers to shop their stores and consume wholesome meals at home. And while many consumers do have a desire to eat healthier home-cooked meals they often struggle with the broad range of proficiencies required to prepare food at home. Clinicians Culinary Health Education Fundamentals (CHEF) Coaching is an innovative program designed to train Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to teach basic home cooking competencies to patients and consumers.
I’m always excited when I see retailers adding health and wellness and RD programs. It showcases the commitment to helping shoppers live healthier lives in point-of-purchase environments. As these programs launch, however, there are bound to be growing pains. Retailers don’t often know what healthy living programs look like and RDs aren’t initially hired into the retailer at executive levels. Growing pains.
Have you ever looked back at the past week and wondered, what have you’ve done with your time because the truly important tasks have not been completed? Or have you responded to a work or life situation and felt that you really weren’t being genuine or true to what you believe? These reactions can be exhausting and leave us feeling anxious to say the least. Stephanie Schultz, MSM, RDN, CD, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Skogen’s Festival Foods has experienced some of these situations on her path to leadership and discovered some important insights which have helped her manage the demands of life while being genuinely herself.