By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
ShopRite’s Health and Wellness team, which includes over 100 in-store and corporate dietitians, has created a food-focused communication strategy called Well Everyday that inspires customers to eat well while helping them to think differently about health and wellness. Below, Stephanie Perez, MPH, RD, Retail Dietitian Supervisor and Allison Ryder, Health and Wellness Project Manager for Wakefern Food Corporation, the merchandising and distribution arm of ShopRite, a 274-store banner based in the Northeast, share information on how this program is meeting consumer needs and driving sales.
What is the Well Everyday program at ShopRite about?
Well Everyday is a food-focused communication strategy that inspires customers to eat well with solutions that are affordable and in line with their real, everyday lives. We keep our educational messages realistic, nonjudgmental and approachable with our delivery. Our Well Everyday theme changes approximately every 8 to 9 weeks, which helps to keep the program fresh, new and exciting for customers. In July and August, we are promoting our latest campaign, “Real. Smart. Snacks.”
How do the dietitians communicate with shoppers?
We use an omni-channel approach, leveraging in-store signage, shelf tags, in-store TV monitors and overhead announcements, plus of course, our dietitian team speaks directly to shoppers and associates via classes, programs, in-aisle demos or other personalized approaches to each unique theme. Our dietitians also spread our Well Everyday messages through a variety of community outreach and events that are held in conjunction with each theme.
Describe your Meals Made Well component of the program.
Our “Meals Made Well” recipe program is a collection of better-for-you recipes, selected by our team of Registered Dietitians and Chefs. Each recipe is created with health in mind and we use nutritious and delicious ingredients like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein. We have guidelines in place for each recipe (side dishes/snacks/main dishes and complete meals/desserts) based on criteria from the USDA Dietary Guidelines. We have a “Meals Made Well” merchandising case at select stores that contains all the ingredients in one cart so shoppers can easily buy it, cook it and serve it that night. We also use recipe preparation videos, social media and circular support to promote “Meals Made Well” recipe solutions.
Are there learnings that you can share with other retail dietitians about implementing such a comprehensive program?
We believe it’s important to empower our in-store dietitian team to own the program and ensure success by embracing the themes and suggested tactics of each campaign. It’s also equally vital to allow each dietitian to tailor the program so that it meets the unique needs of their store’s customer base. Additionally, it’s important to educate and involve store associates who are on the front lines with customers on a daily basis about items we are featuring in the campaign and making sure they know our dietitians are a trusted and reliable resource for our customers.