Best Practices and Excellence in Fresh Department Health & Wellness Programming

Best Practices and Excellence in Fresh Department Health & Wellness Programming

June 27, 2018
Shari Steinbach
Retail Industry Insights

By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor

There are currently several forces at work that are driving store-wide changes and make this an opportune time to embrace health and wellness at retail, especially in the fresh departments of the store:

  • Today’s shoppers are seeking fresh, natural and minimally processed foods with beneficial ingredients that help fight disease and promote good health. 
  • Consumer shopping behaviors are changing as options for purchasing food evolves along with technology and center store categories are migrating online. 
  • Deli/fresh prepared food is the fastest growing area in the fresh perimeter of the store and incorporating healthier choices and wellness messaging can accelerate sales growth. 

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. 

Report highlights include: 

  • Key Elements of Success – This section helps retailers understand consumers’ needs from seasonal solutions to special diets, convenience, and environmental impacts. Content emphasizes ways to provide communication that gains trust while promoting choices with the expertise of Registered Dietitians and engaged employees. Several program idea starters are provided along with examples for leveraging health and wellness to increase ROI in fresh departments.
  • Profitable Partnerships and Resources - Establishing relationships with key partners is crucial to successfully accomplishing all the potential health opportunities within fresh departments at retail. Possible partners include commodity groups, vendors, health organizations, and local health influencers. Partnership opportunities and resource support available to help implement successful, customizable, health and wellness programs that drive fresh sales are highlighted.
  • Health & Wellness in Fresh – Examples of Excellence - Shoppers are seeking options in fresh departments that align with their healthy lifestyles and there are vast opportunities to show how fresh foods can provide the convenience and nutrition attributes shoppers are seeking. Many retailers, and RDBA members, are finding creative ways to successfully incorporate health and wellness into their fresh departments from better-for-you products to strong partnership programs. Included in this section are several examples of excellence in fresh health and wellness programming.
  • Fresh Moves Forward - The consumer-driven health and wellness movement will continue to shape the future supermarket as shoppers increasingly understand that the right food choices are fundamental to good health. As consumers manage their health with food purchasing decisions, they will seek out those retailers who provide quality fresh products, healthy prepared food options and educational expertise to support their wellness journey. This section explores key considerations and recommendations for moving wellness initiatives forward in retail fresh departments of the future.

To access the full report click here: FMI Report - Best Practices and Excellence in Fresh Department Health & Wellness Programming