Help Consumers Make Heart-Healthy Eating Easy

Help Consumers Make Heart-Healthy Eating Easy

February 22, 2023
Shari Steinbach
Retail Industry InsightsTrends

By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, Contributing Editor

Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States, so it is no surprise that heart healthy remains a resonant and valued food and beverage claim.1,2 But many consumers still think that a heart smart diet is full of boring and tasteless foods such as broiled fish and steamed vegetables. Retail dietitians can help dispel this notion by engaging shoppers with programs and resources that make heart-healthy eating delicious and easy.

  • Provide recipes for success. Consumers want to know more than just which foods are heart healthy. They need actionable advice for creating tasty family-friendly meals. Post quick and easy recipes online or create a “quick dinner” in-store display with all the ingredients for a heart check certified recipe. Add a recipe card or sign so shoppers can take a photo of the recipe. Focus on providing education on a specific heart healthy dietary change like consuming more fiber rich foods. Conduct a virtual or in person cooking class that features delicious recipes using foods like beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and high fiber grain foods while discussing tips for adding more fiber to meals.
  • Highlight better choices. Helping shoppers navigate your store to find better-for-you substitutes for their favorite foods is also a more attainable, realistic approach to heart-healthy eating. Create a heart-healthy product display and provide a shopping list of foods that carry the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Certification. The Heart-Check mark makes it easy to spot heart-healthy foods and beverages in your stores so shoppers can easily “trade up” to the healthier choice. You can also use shelf talkers to point out new heart-healthy products, indicate heart health in attribute programs, and highlight heart-healthy foods on ecommerce sites.
  • Culinary know how. Since the pandemic, there is greater interest in learning kitchen skills which is good news since cooking is an important aspect to a heart healthy lifestyle. Weave practical culinary education into your educational programs and include meal planning basics. Offer menus, grocery lists, and advice on products that you recommend so that the whole family can eat heart healthy. Teach consumers how to pump-up nutrition with simple recipes that turn healthy, tasty ingredients into meals. For instance, creating a simple stir-fry with quick cooking brown rice, colorful veggies and lean pork or shrimp as a heart-healthy meal families can rely on.


  1. 2021 AHA Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update Fact Sheet
  2. June 2021 W5 Research; Millennials and Gen X; N=600