Helping Shoppers Get the Most Nutrition for Their Money
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
With grocery costs at an all-time high and ongoing concerns about Covid, consumers are looking for ways to eat healthy while sticking to their budget. Guidance from retail RDNs can provide consumers with the tools needed to ensure their well-earned dollars are being spent on foods that provide nutritional benefits. Consider these shopper tips as you communicate with customers.
- Venture into the aisles – Bust the myth about shopping the perimeter of the store for the healthiest foods. Point out the cost-savings and nutritional attributes of products such as whole grain pastas and rice, canned vegetables and beans, canned meat and seafood, hot cereals such as oatmeal and more.
- Cents Saving Store brands – There is often a significant difference in cost between national brand products and the store brand equivalent. Share a personal story about the store brands that are part of your regular shopping trip and menu along with the actual cost savings realized by using these products in a specific recipe.
- Double Duty pantry staples – Create a blog or video showing products that are low-cost, nutritious and multi-purpose. For example, canned beans can be added to salads and soups, or simple seasoned and served over rice or polenta. Other products include pasta, canned tomatoes, peanut butter and canned or pouched tuna.
- Freezer Fixes – Many frozen foods are consistently priced throughout the year and products are 100% edible foods. Also, their long shelf life and portion-sized packages often meal less waste. Make a list of the basic freezer fare that consumers can stock up on and introduce them to some new products to try. Highlight the affordability and nutritional benefits and ways to use, such as frozen fruit in a smoothie, or mixed veggies in soup or stir-fry.
- Seasonal Substitutions – Cooking with ingredients that are in season can save shoppers money while providing them with fresh, flavorful ingredients. Encourage customers to substitute different vegetables or fruits in a recipe such as asparagus for green beans. You can also point out veggie staples that are versatile and budget friendly such as potatoes, bananas, apples and carrots.
- Consider costs of convenience and conventional – Value-added foods, while convenient, can cost much more to purchase. Conduct some short videos showing consumers how to save money at mealtime with quick preparation and cooking tips. You can also share advice on buying organic or conventional products by discussing nutritional values and showing the different choices your store carries.
- Menus matter – Menu planning typically helps families eat healthier while saving both time and money. Offer easy dinner menus featuring weekly sale items online to Ecommerce shoppers and showcase these ideas in your ad.
- Peruse the perks – If your store offers rewards, digital coupons or other shopper perks make sure to promote these programs. Many customers, especially new ones, may not be aware of these shopper benefits.