Whole-store Health So­lu­tions

Take the fol­low­ing steps to en­cour­age cus­tomers to eat bet­ter — no mat­ter which part of the su­per­mar­ket they shop.

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Contents -

En­cour­ag­ing cus­tomers to eat bet­ter.

Con­sumers want to shop in su­per­mar­kets that sup­port, rather than dic­tate, health­ful food op­tions. They want a shop­ping en­vi­ron­ment that presents health­ful and de­li­cious meal so­lu­tions, yet al­lows them to main­tain the free­dom to choose the foods they be­lieve are right for them­selves and their fam­i­lies.

To this end, cus­tomers ex­pect high lev­els of food va­ri­ety, fresh­ness and nu­tri­tional qual­ity, and de­mand greater trans­parency, ac­cu­racy and de­tail in food in­for­ma­tion sup­plied by both food man­u­fac­tur­ers and food re­tail­ers. The term “healthy” now equates to a broader con­sumer ex­pec­ta­tion for nu­tri­tious, de­li­cious, safe foods pro­duced with in­tegrity and sus­tain­abil­ity in mind.

Gro­cers can be­come pre­ferred health-andwell­ness des­ti­na­tions by de­liv­er­ing au­then­tic guid­ance and so­lu­tions across the whole store.

Be­yond the Perime­ter

With­out ques­tion, the store’s perime­ter — stocked with fresh pro­duce and high-qual­ity seafood, meats, deli and pre­pared foods — is the first place that core well­ness shoppers will look for foods that sup­port health. It shouldn’t the only place, how­ever.

Health so­lu­tions can be found in un­ex­pected places through­out the store. It’s now be­come part of a gro­cer’s job to ex­plain the health ben­e­fits and prove­nance of th­ese items and make them eas­ier for cus­tomers to find.

Nudge Shoppers To­ward Nu­tri­tious Choices

While work­ing as a di­rec­tor for a gro­cery re­tailer, I cre­ated a su­per­foods pro­gram — still in use to­day— to guide shoppers to­ward highly nu­tri­tious, whole foods sold through­out the store.

Us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of in-store sig­nage, a su­per­foods shop­ping list and in-ad mes­sag­ing, the pro­gram highlights dozens of spe­cific su­per­foods across the pro­duce, cen­ter store, frozen, dairy, seafood, meat and deli de­part­ments, and tells what makes each food so nu­tri­tious. The ini­tia­tive works in syn­ergy with on­go­ing ef­forts — nutri­tion at­tribute tag­ging, nutri­tion ed­u­ca­tion store tours, healthy recipes with in­struc­tional videos, a bi­monthly magazine and blog — de­signed to nudge shoppers to­ward nu­tri­tious choices.

It’s Not Just About ‘Free-from’

The lat­est foods be­ing in­tro­duced in the nat­u­ral and or­ganic space of­ten in­clude a host of claims of what they’re “free from,” in­clud­ing GMOS, ad­di­tives, preser­va­tives, dyes, corn syrup, al­ler­gens and gluten.

How­ever, re­tail di­eti­tians must re­mind cus­tomers that what the food in­cludes is as im­por­tant as what it ex­cludes, when it comes to over­all nu­tri­tional value. A gluten-free, non-gmo, or­ganic chip is still a chip. Nev­er­the­less, sales data sug­gest well­nessseek­ing cus­tomers are re­defin­ing health and well­ness to in­clude a bal­ance of both in­dul­gent and more sen­si­ble choices as part of an over­all healthy di­etary pat­tern.

Make ‘Healthy’ Easy and Af­ford­able

Try featuring a meal so­lu­tion or recipe of the week that meets healthy cri­te­ria and is easy to pre­pare. Make it an af­ford­able choice for cus­tomers by of­fer­ing price sav­ings on at least one or two key recipe in­gre­di­ents, mer­chan­dise in­gre­di­ents to­gether for con­ve­nience, and of­fer recipe sam­pling dur­ing high-traf­fic hours to dis­pel the con­sumer myth that “eat­ing healthy won’t taste good.” Sug­gest a por­tion­con­trolled, in­dul­gent dessert that con­tains at least one health­ful in­gre­di­ent.

Pro­gres­sive Pre­pared Foods

Meet de­mands for pre­pared foods that are health­ful op­tions. Cre­ate menu se­lec­tions and meal kits that sup­port well­ness goals and help trim the time and en­ergy re­quired to pre­pare meals from scratch. Short-cut so­lu­tions, in­clud­ing de­li­cious veg­gies, whole grain side dishes and healthy main dishes, can con­ve­niently com­bine with other foods sold in the aisles to cre­ate semi­home­made meals.

Be trans­par­ent by dis­clos­ing in­gre­di­ents, ori­gins, nutri­tion facts and pro­duc­tion meth­ods to help guide cus­tomer pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions.

Gro­cers can be­come pre­ferred health-andwell­ness des­ti­na­tions by de­liv­er­ing au­then­tic guid­ance and so­lu­tions across the whole store.

Karen Buch, RDN, LDN, is a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian/nu­tri­tion­ist who spe­cial­izes in re­tail nutri­tion mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. One of the first su­per­mar­ket di­eti­tians, she’s now founder of and prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant at Nutri­tion Con­nec­tions LLC, pro­vid­ing con­sult­ing ser­vices na­tion­wide. She can be reached on Twit­ter @ karen­buch and at Nutri­tion­con­nec­tion­sllc.com.

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