RDBA 2021 Member Survey Results

RDBA 2021 Member Survey Results

November 3, 2021
Annette Maggi
Retail Industry InsightsHuman Resources

In August and September of 2021, the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance conducted a survey of retail dietitians to capture insights on retail dietitians’ roles, job satisfaction, shopper engagement and new programs and responsibilities. Today, we're sharing the survey results.

Survey Response Rate

The first data point of interest is the survey response rate, which fell by more than sixty percent this year compared to the 2020 member survey. While some programs currently have smaller sized RD teams, our Advisory Board indicates that retail RDs are inundated with requests for feedback, leading to lower survey response broadly. Give the reduced number of respondents this year, we consider the survey results to be directional but not conclusive. Of the 43 respondents, 84% are employed fulltime by their retailer, 66% are from the East Coast with 22% in the Midwest, and 50% work at the store level, with 28% at corporate and 22% in regional roles.

Shifts in Retail RD Roles

While we all know that retail RDs have significantly increased their social and digital engagement over the past eighteen months, media segments are also a strong element of shopper reach. Fifty percen of survey respondents routinely conduct media segments with three percent of these retail RDs conducting 6-10 segments per month and 47% conducting 1-4 segments each month. These segments are an effective way to build the retail RD brand, promote programs and services, and reach an extended audience beyond current shoppers.

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With the well-documented increase in online grocery shopping, a new area of exploration in this year’s survey was related to health and wellbeing integration into e-commerce. Survey results indicate that 56% of retail dietitians are actively working or have started working with their e-commerce teams on H&W integration while 34% indicate their retailers are working on this integration but that dietitians are not involved.

The majority of retail dietitians play an active role in Owned Brands in varying ways, including:

  • 69% promote Owned Brands in healthy living programs and services.
  • 22% are making recommendations to improve the nutrition profile of Owned Brand products.
  • 16% are involved in the review of Owned Brand labels for accuracy and compliance with federal regulations.

As food prices continue to rise, Owned Brands will become an even more important option for all grocery shoppers, making the work of retail RDs to align these products under health and wellbeing even more important in the future.

Your Love for and Needs from RDBA

In 2020, we were flattered and humbled that 92 percent of retail RDs find RDBA membership very or somewhat valuable to their professional development. We were even more appreciate of your vote of confidence this year as 97% of you indicate you find RDBA membership very or somewhat vaulable to their professional development. The pressure is on us to maintain a level of service to you that you continue to find valuable.

When asked what topics were important to your work with consumers, the top responses were meal planning, budget-friendly meals, diabetes, managing allergens, and gut health. For you professionally, retail trends, negotiations, thriving in the retail environment, and career advancement were of highest interest. We’ve heard you loud and clear, and you can look for added coverage of these topics in the RDBA newsletter as well as at the RDBA Virtual Experience 2022, scheduled for April 5-7.