One of the retail fallouts from the pandemic was the closing of self-service, prepared food stations such as salad bars. As safety concerns most likely will continue, the fate of bringing these food stations back remains far from certain. Because of this, retailers and equipment suppliers are rethinking the role self-service food areas will play in the future. Retail RDNs can use their skills and knowledge to suggest solutions that meet consumer and store needs. Here are some considerations:
Thirty percent of consumers indicate that environmental sustainability is more important in their food purchase decisions than it was ten years ago, according to the 2020 IFIC Food and Health Survey. More than 40 percent indicate knowing a manufacturer is committed to producing a food in an environmentally sustainable way impacts buying habits. Based on this consumer interest, carbon labeling is emerging as a method for food companies to provide information on sustainability.
If you asked the typical family about their favorite meals, chances are they will include pasta, tacos, pizza, sandwiches and beef burgers on the list. In fact, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff recently looked at consumer research that reinforces how much Americans truly love a delicious beef burger, especially fresh off the grill. From where you sit, as a registered dietitian in retail, this presents an opportunity.
Most retailers have created popular promotional campaigns to highlight seasonal fruits and veggies from local farms. To assist your stores with these efforts and to help drive sales across the store, consider the power of pairing frozen foods with seasonal, local produce. With a post pandemic focus on meals that provide health and nutrition attributes, combined with the ongoing need for convenience, consumers will appreciate new ways to pair up favorite frozen foods with produce for quick and nourishing meals. Here are some creative ways to provide meaningful solutions:
The past 16 months have brought a lot of changes to our supermarkets and to the role of the retail dietitian. Some might argue that some of these changes, especially those that involve improved sanitation practices, were long overdue. The more intense cleaning of shopping carts, checkstands and dairy and freezer door handles will continue long after the pandemic subsides. In March of this year, iRI released their study that found 99% of American shoppers feel safer at stores that provide sanitizing stations and 40% will go out of their way to shop at retailers that provide these stations.
Given the incredible growth of frozen seafood sales and growing consumer interest and willingness to cook seafood from frozen (66% would try it if they had recipe ideas), commercial Alaska sockeye harvester Melanie Brown will be demonstrating how easy it is to Cook it Frozen with Alaska Seafood. Join us while Melanie shares her fishing experience and an Alaska salmon recipe. You will also hear from Monica George, head of retail marketing for ASMI, about how frozen provides year-round availability to wild and sustainable seafood from Alaska, cuts waste and makes delicious and healthy eating a slam dunk. After the session, ASMI will send $100 gift cards to the first 25 RDs who send links to their own Alaska Seafood Cook it Frozen demos featured on their social channels.
An unintended consequence of the pandemic is increasing obesity rates, creating an opportunity for retail RDs to offer programs that effectively meet this consumer need. During this session, two retail RDs who are also board certified weight management experts will share their individual virtual success secrets from two different retail brand’s programs. They share a common goal: encouraging RD’s to take the lead and create their own weight management series to meet a growing need while providing practical and healthy weight management strategies, that foster an environment of support and positivity.
At grocery retail, a key goal is for all community members to find foods that fit their eating habits. This goal is, in part, accomplished by micro-marketing based on individual store or key markets. During this session, hear from retail buyers on how data is driving cross-cultural micro-marketing decisions to offer cultural foods important to local communities.
The demand for gluten-free has been on a steady rise. What's behind the increase in gluten-free seeking consumers? How can retail RDs help these shoppers make informed choices? What does a gluten-free certification mark really mean on product packages and why does it matter? Education and food safety experts from the Gluten Intolerance Group, a non-profit organization that is on a mission to make life easier for everyone living gluten-free, will share key insights into the gluten-free shopper, resources for you and your customers, and details on what is behind the certification mark that appears on over 60,000 products.