RD Close-Up: Scott Brown MS,RDN,LDN, Nutrition Advisor with Raley’s
By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Please describe your role at Raley’s.
I am an in-store RD and my current role is as the Nutrition Advisor for our latest store concept, Raley’s O-N-E Market. This is a new role for the organization, and I am responsible for bringing the O-N-E acronym, which stands for organics, nutrition, and education, to life by educating our Something Extra members, team members and the community on our vision to change the way the world eats, one plate at a time.
Currently, I am developing and implementing Something Extra (SE) Health, a new program offered exclusively at Raley’s O-N-E Market. SE Health includes a variety of customer-based services like virtual and in-store store tours, workshops, and one-on-one consultations. I also work closely with our store leadership team to provide team members with educational training around health, nutrition, and our uniquely curated product assortment.
What's the story behind your experience in retail and how you came to work at Raley’s?
I was fortunate enough to work with some incredible people in a communications role during the last portion of my dietetic internship. These individuals encouraged me to look toward retail because of my passion for teaching and helping the community live healthier lives.
Prior to coming to Raley’s, I worked as a store Dietitian for a large retailer in Kansas City. When COVID hit, I decided to search for opportunities closer to my family in Sacramento, CA, and was fortunate enough to come across the Nutrition Advisor position.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dietitian working in the retail industry?
Initially, the biggest challenge for me was figuring out the best way to prove my ROI and learn all the ins and outs of retail. I was fortunate enough to have some incredible mentors who helped me understand the full cycle operations of retail grocery. Today, the biggest challenge I face is in building a new concept during the time of COVID.
What is one thing you wish you had known before starting in retail?
I wish I had known more about marketing and consumer spending trends.
Has there been anything specific that has held you back?
Yes, crafting nutrition education content while navigating our elevated standards and product assortment has been uniquely challenging. I have dealt with this by living and breathing our banned ingredient list, sugar awareness campaign and Raley’s Shelf Guide. I have spent numerous hours pouring over research and developing content, so I now have a level of understanding that allows me to answer the many complicated questions I face on a day-to-day basis.
In a similar vein, has there been anything specific that help you move forward in your role?
Yes, my attitude. I am not afraid to fail, genuinely love to learn and believe there is knowledge to be gained from everyone. I am privileged enough to have a role that interfaces with both the corporate and store teams. This role allows me to capture unique learnings from both our store and company leaders.
Is there a program or initiative of which you are most proud?
I am so proud of the work that has already been done at Raley’s with our better-for-you check stands, elimination of tobacco products, elimination of private label sugar-sweetened sodas, sugar awareness campaign and our comprehensive Shelf Guide. I am also incredibly proud of our programs unique to Raley’s O-N-E Market, such as:
Team Member Education: This comprehensive training is all about teaching team members about nutrition, food and the features unique to Raley’s O-N-E Market. These training sessions happen on a regular basis and allow me to get face time with every team member to answer their questions on health, wellness, and our unique product selection. I believe that elevating the knowledge of our staff not only helps our customers but helps to improve the lives of the people I get to work with on a day-to-day basis.
Store Tours: Our store tours allow for me to get one-on-one time with our customers to help them understand all the ins and outs of our store while simultaneously answering their health and nutrition related questions.
Bio: Scott Brown is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Advisor with Raley’s. Scott has worked in retail dietetics, as a teaching assistant and as a health coach. Scott received his BS degree in Nutrition from California State University, Sacramento and his MS from Southern Illinois University.