RDBA 2020 Member Survey Results

RDBA 2020 Member Survey Results

October 28, 2020
Retail Industry InsightsHuman Resources

In August and September of 2020, the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance conducted a survey of retail dietitians to capture insights on retail dietitians’ roles, job satisfaction, shopper engagement and how your roles have shifted this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.  In total, 119 retail RDs completed the survey.  Today, we're sharing the survey results.

COVID-19 Impact on Retail Dietetics

Our survey results confirm what many retail dietitians have told us – the role shifted to a virtual one this year. In fact, 72% of survey respondents indicate their work now includes telemedicine or teleconferencing with clients on healthy living consults. This is an increase of 600% from 2019. More than 80% of retail dietitians are doing fewer in-store activations and have ramped up social and digital shopper engagement. Given these shifts, retail RDs indicate downloadable nutrition education handouts, consumer fact sheets, coupons and videos would support them in this work. More than 60% have taken on other responsibilities, including advising senior leadership on science and communications related to the pandemic.

When asked about job security, 63% are very or somewhat comfortable, while 28% express concern about job security. At the same time, nearly 70% of retail RDs indicate executive level support of RD programs is very or moderately strong and 30% indicate their company is more committed to health and wellbeing programs since the pandemic has begun. Nearly 50% indicate the commitment has remained the same.

Reporting Structure

This year, we’ve heard from a variety of RDs who are exploring the right reporting structure for health and wellbeing programs at retail. Survey results indicate a broad spectrum of reporting structures: 36% of retail RDs report through marketing or communications, 26% through operations, 13% through pharmacy, 12% to an RD lead, health and wellness or private label brands department, and 6% through buying/merchandising.

Retail RDs Find Value in RDBA

An incredible 92 percent of retail RDs find RDBA membership very or somewhat valuable to their professional development. Thank you for this vote of confidence. We’re thrilled that the services we provide are valued by retail RDs!

When asked which member benefits are of most value, retail RDs indicated monthly webinars, live education events, the weekly e-newsletter and our website are most valued. Of least value were the social media dashboard, sponsor e-blasts and podcasts. Live webcasts, a new member benefit in 2020, saw strong interest; watch for continued webcasts in 2021.

Retail RDs’ Needs

Survey respondents shared a variety of ways in which RDBA could continue to advance their expertise and effectiveness. Of highest interest was a mentoring or “think tank” type program, where dietitians from non-competing retailers could engage on a regular basis to share ideas, solve programs, etc. The other priority raised by survey respondents was more information on MNT services and how to offer them in a telehealth environment. Finally, retail RDs are seeking more information on how to effectively use social media to engage shoppers and how to track the value of this engagement to the retailer. Stay tuned as these services will be coming in 2021!