RD Close Up: Sarah Glunz, MS, CNS, LDN; Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets
What's the story behind your experience in retail and your position with your store?
When I saw the job posting for an in-store nutritionist almost 7 years ago, I knew immediately that it was the perfect fit for me – a mix of individual consultations, group education, and media. I also loved that my local grocery store cared enough about the health and wellness of their communities to offer nutrition education. The best part is that it only continues to get better. My current role as the lead nutritionist has allowed me to utilize my passion for nutrition with an opportunity to grow my management skills and delve deeper into the retail industry.
What is one thing that you wish you would have known before starting your career in retail?
It may sound cliché but I honestly wouldn’t change anything. There is so much to learn about the ever-changing field of retail nutrition that I never would have been able to garner all that information prior to starting my career. I have enjoyed the learning process and continue to soak up all the knowledge I can about the field. If I were to offer any advice to a dietitian starting out in the retail industry it would be to remember that you aren’t just a dietitian that happens to be doing nutrition education in a grocery store, you are a retail dietitian so learning the grocery industry and how you can contribute to your company’s success is just as important as being knowledgeable about nutrition.
What have you done to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the retail industry?
I still have so much to learn but attribute the knowledge I do have from simply asking people who have been in the industry longer, whether dietitians or not, for help. I make sure I’m part of meetings and calls that happen within my company regarding health and wellness and ask lots of questions. We include shadowing specialists in other areas of the business as part of a new nutritionist’s training. My company has mentoring circles that have been an excellent way for me to learn more about the grocery business. And these days retail nutrition is becoming the norm so there are more opportunities than ever for education and networking. Take advantage of it all!
Has there been anything specific that has helped you move forward?
It all comes down to relationships, with everyone from customers to store associates to executives. When people know who you are, what you do, and feel a connection to you, they are more likely to help you get things done. Any of our nutritionists who have built successful in-store programs attribute a big part of that to the relationships they have formed with their store management team, associates, community partners and of course, their customers. We rely heavily on word of mouth so we are grateful for all the people out there singing our praises.
About Sarah Glunz:
Sarah Glunz, MS, CNS, LDN is the lead nutritionist for GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets. She received a Master’s degree in human nutrition and is a board certified nutrition specialist as well as a licensed dietitian nutritionist. As the lead nutritionist, Sarah provides daily guidance to the team of in-store nutritionists, trains new team members, and develops company-wide health and wellness programs. She also works in-store with customers and associates, as well as in the community offering nutrition education to empower them to have a healthy relationship with food.