Make it bet­ter

With nu­tri­tion in­creas­ingly on the minds of shop­pers, gro­cers need to up their game.

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Contents - By Brid­get Gold­schmidt

With nu­tri­tion in­creas­ingly on the minds of shop­pers, gro­cers need to up their game.

Most food re­tail­ers have some sort of health-and-well­ness pro­gram in place, but as con­sumer in­ter­est in clean la­bels, nu­tri­tious eat­ing and healthy life­styles in­creases, gro­cers’ cur­rent of­fer­ings may not be enough. A re­spon­sive, dy­namic ap­proach to health and well­ness is cru­cial for gro­cers. As Kar­leigh Jurek, cor­po­rate di­eti­tian for Lub­bock, Texas-based United Su­per­mar­kets, ob­serves: “A well-es­tab­lished health-and-well­ness team can be ben­e­fi­cial for re­tail­ers by pro­vid­ing a needed ser­vice that res­onates with to­day’s guests that could pro­mote stronger loy­alty from these shop­pers and ul­ti­mately in­crease sales.”

Cit­ing “sev­eral ed­u­cated as­sump­tions” from her or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Health and Well­ness Coun­cil, Su­san Borra, chief well­ness of­fi­cer at the Ar­ling­ton, Va.based Food Mar­ket­ing In­sti­tute (FMI), ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the FMI Foun­da­tion and a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian (RD) her­self, af­firms that “con­sumer val­ues around health and well­ness will con­tinue to grow in im­por­tance and con­tinue to be a key pur­chase driver. Rid­ing the trend for con­sumer-cen­tered health care, more cus­tomers than ever be­fore are look­ing for health care op­tions, and the neigh­bor­hood gro­cery store has the abil­ity to ful­fill this need and serve as a well­ness ad­vi­sor.”

In terms of prod­ucts, Carl Jor­gensen, di­rec­tor, global thought lead­er­ship-well­ness at Stam­ford, Conn.-based Day­mon, points out that “health and well­ness is the fastest-grow­ing trend at re­tail. Nat­u­ral and or­ganic sales are pro­jected to grow 11 per­cent an­nu­ally through 2020. Re­tail­ers are see­ing the op­por­tu­nity for their pri­vate brands to of­fer con­sumers a less-ex­pen­sive en­try point to healt­hand-well­ness prod­ucts.”

So, what can gro­cers do to ad­dress con­sumers’ evolv­ing needs? First, they need to re­al­ize that there’s no one­size-fits-all so­lu­tion. Elis­a­beth D’alto Jalkiewicz, su­per­mar­ket/re­tail sub­group chair of the Food and Culi­nary Pro­fes­sion­als di­etetic prac­tice group at the Acad­emy of Nu­tri­tion and Di­etet­ics, in Chicago, urges re­tail di­eti­tians to “learn about your as­so­ciates, your cus­tomers and the com­mu­nity you are serv­ing. I think it’s im­por­tant to not gen­er­al­ize that all re­tail di­eti­tians should be tak­ing the same cookie-cut­ter ap­proach. Depend­ing on things like your ge­o­graphic re­gion or your pri­mary shop­per, you have to tailor pro­grams to meet those spe­cific needs.”

St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn’s is al­ready on board with this di­rec­tive. “We are fo­cused on meet­ing our com­mu­ni­ties where they are at,” notes Amy Pe­ick, who over­sees the Mid­west gro­cer’s health-and-well­ness pro­gram. “Our com­mu­ni­ties have both sim­i­lar­i­ties as well as dif­fer­ences. Each of them has dif­fer­ent needs and ex­presses their in­ter­est in dif­fer­ent areas of well­ness. Our su­per­mar­ket di­eti­tians in the store have the ca­pa­bil­ity to be

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