Exciting Growth in H&W Programming
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
The recent Retail Contributions to Health and Wellbeing 2021 survey from FMI reported that half of the food retail respondents reported significantly or moderately boosting their health-conscious offerings since 2019, and 84% said they now have a health and well-being strategy in place, up from 49% in 2019. As retailers have reenergized and emphasized their focus on health and wellness programming, many companies are thinking outside the box to provide unique services to attract health-conscious shoppers. Here are some exciting new retail wellbeing programs we recently discovered:
- Users of the MyFitnessPal app and online platform will now have access to recipes from Sprouts Farmers Markets. Fresh ingredients and store brands from Sprouts are being highlighted in over 100 recipes and as part of their sponsorship, Sprouts will also publish articles in the MyFitnessPal blog. A recent article provided a list of hydrating produce for the summer. This program promises to be a unique and targeted educational selling tool.
- Amazon is making it easier for customers concerned about environmental health to find desired products by ramping up efforts to identify sustainable items listed on its marketplace. The new certifications — EWG Verified, Regenerative Organic Certified, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice and Animal Welfare Approved — expands its selection of products recognized under its Climate Pledge Friendly program. This is one of Amazon’s initiatives to help them realize their goal to become a net-zero carbon company by 2040.
- To help consumers with personalized dietary needs, Shipt recently announced a new feature that allows shoppers to sort products according to nearly 20 dietary labels and to save their preferences. Customers can choose from dietary patterns such as Keto and vegan, along with dietary attributes such as low-sodium, sugar-free and organic. This feature will also boost tagged items in search results to match shoppers’ preferences. As e-commerce expands, more retailers will need to make it simple for customers to build online baskets that meet tailored dietary needs.
- Natural Grocers is making it easy for shoppers to take home fresh, organic produce by offering hydroponically grown lettuces just steps away from their conventional produce departments. A shipping container, called GardenBox, grows more than 4,000 heads of organic lettuce each month in about 320 square feet of space – roughly what would normally take 1 acre worth of land to grow. Eight varieties of lettuce are now grown year-round which means it’s always local and in season.
- In an effort to boost supplier relationships and spotlight locally sourced products, Giant Foods is promoting summer produce boxes in partnership with more than 20 farms in their markets. The Local Produce Boxes, that cost $20 each, are delivered through the grocer's Giant Delivers e-commerce service, and contain six or more in-season items that will vary weekly. This program is truly meeting the consumer’s desire for local produce and convenience. Produce storage and usage tips, along with simple recipes would make a nice addition.