Retail Nutrition Programs and Outcomes: Food as Medicine Resources for Registered Dietitians

Retail Nutrition Programs and Outcomes: Food as Medicine Resources for Registered Dietitians

February 24, 2021
Career Development

By Allison Yoder, MA, RDN, LD, Nutrition in Food Retail Program Development Fellow, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation 

Year after year, consumer focus on health and well-being, and most recently the concept of Food as Medicine, remain top factors that are positively impacting sales and profits for food retailers, according to FMI’s Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2020 report. Food as Medicine is a philosophy where food and nutrition aid individuals through interventions that support their health and wellness, including four primary focus areas: Food as preventative medicine to promote health and well-being; Food as Medicine in disease management and treatment; Food as Medicine to improve food and nutrition security; and Food as Medicine to promote food safety.

As consumers continue to lead the charge in setting food and health trends, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) not only become trusted allies for shoppers and their families, they also bring value to food retailers by increasing customer traffic into the store, improving customer loyalty through meaningful engagement, elevating basket size and sales through direct and indirect customer interactions, enhancing the retailer’s brand image through public relations and communications, and adding to the bottom line by creating revenue streams. 

The Nutrition in Food Retail Program Development (NFRPD) fellowship through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation is committed to supporting the great work of retail dietitians and RDBA. With guidance from the NFRPD expert advisory group, several resources have been developed by the Academy Foundation to assist retail dietitians in building and strengthening Food as Medicine programs and promotions. 

  1. Retail Nutrition Programs and Outcomes: An Evidence Analysis Center Scoping Review
    A scoping review was recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAND). This cutting-edge piece examines the landscape of existing Food as Medicine interventions and food retail programs related to nutrition. Key findings from the scoping review can assist RDNs in developing successful programs and promotions that produce both return-on-investment and positive health outcomes desirable to retail operations.
  2. Webinar- Improving Food and Nutrition Security in America: An Opportunity for Food Retail Dietitians 
    Join your retail dietitian colleagues on March 2, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. CST for an informative webinar featuring Clancy Cash Harrison, MS, RDN, FAND, Founder, Food Dignity® Project, Laura Perdue, MPH, RDN, Chair, Legislative and Public Policy Committee, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Jonnell Masson, MS, RDN, Dietitian Coordinator, Harmons Grocery. Discover the levers driving heightened food security awareness, government and policy updates addressing food and nutrition security in America, resources available to assist with food and nutrition benefits, and strategies on how retail RDNs can support their customers. Click here to register for this free webinar. If you are not able to join the live webinar, please register still and a link to the recording will be shared following the event.
  3. Food as Medicine Retail Nutrition Landscape White Paper
    Available for free download in early March, the white paper defines Food as Medicine within food retail settings, lays out a Retail Nutrition Framework for program development, highlights existing Food as Medicine retail program models, and creates a business and public health case for RDNs to lead Food as Medicine strategy and programming.
  4. Food as Medicine Resource Page
    A resource page for Food as Medicine is now available on the Academy Foundation’s website. This page includes links to CPE opportunities geared towards food retail dietitians, Food as Medicine resources, and will soon feature a video highlighting the leading role that RDNs play in Food as Medicine initiatives in food retail settings. 

RDNs in food retail play an essential role in meeting the health and well-being needs of their customers. Through the NFRPD fellowship, our goal is to further strengthen the role of RDNs in food retail and support the important work of retail dietitians.

Support for this project was funded through a grant from Walmart to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation.