Communicating the Value of Healthy Food to Consumers

Communicating the Value of Healthy Food to Consumers

March 8, 2023
Shari Steinbach
CommunicationsRetail Industry InsightsTrends

By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN

While food costs continue to be a top concern for many shoppers, they are also recognizing the personal health benefits of consuming more nutrient-rich foods. Leveraging the growing power of positive nutrition, however, can be difficult when food prices continue to rise and shoppers face barriers such as time scarcity, cooking skills and simple confusion. Understanding what obstacles your customers face and what motivates them regarding healthy food purchases will allow you to develop better programming solutions to drive sales. Here are some considerations to assist you with communicating the value of healthy foods.

Understand what shoppers value. Regardless of past wellness trends in food shopping, today’s consumers are more focused than ever on affordability and convenience, according to the annual "What's Trending in Nutrition" survey from Pollock Communications and Today's Dietitian. The RDNs that responded to the survey agreed that while the pandemic brought a focus on wellness and food as medicine, in 2023 consumers will put a greater priority on prices as they navigate the cost-of-living crisis. The survey found that the top purchase drivers for food and beverages in 2023 will be respectively, affordability and value; accessibility and convenience; and immunity support. It’s essential for retail dietitians to create solutions centered around these drivers in order to keep healthy products in carts.  

Establish trust. Consumers are confused by the multitude of nutrition messages they read. As people struggle to differentiate between trustworthy information and myths, emphasize your RDN credentials to amplify yourself and your retailer as credible sources of nutrition information. When they understand that you are not trying to sell the most expensive items, but helping them get the most nutrition for their money, you build trust. Share stories about how costly it is to manage a chronic disease vs. the cost of eating a nutrient-rich diet and provide specific recipes and menu plans to make your messages actionable.

Create savvy shoppers and cooks. Empower your customers by helping them become savvy shoppers and cooks. Show them where to look for new products, how to find savings and what budget-friendly products can provide nourishing, tasty meal options. Engage with shoppers both in store and online where purchasing decisions are being made. Think about ways to translate nutrition advice into messages that bring about motivating benefits to drive sales. Put a spot light on your better-for-you private brand products and emphasize the cost savings. Provide a list of low-cost, nutrient-rich food products and include the key nutritional benefits they provide along with versatile ways they can be used in meals. As consumers face higher food costs at the grocery store, they will be looking for affordable meal and snack ideas that provide valuable health benefits, and retail dietitians can be the go-to source for trustworthy solutions.