Retail Dietitians have the opportunity to facilitate new and exciting cultural experiences for their shoppers
In his podcast during the summer of 2019, David Chang (the brilliant chef and founder of the Momofuko chain of restaurants and line of sauces and spices) made headlines when he declared that the ethnic aisles of supermarkets is “the last bastion of racism that you can see in full daylight in retail America.”
As retailers move into a post-pandemic era, many are shifting the direction of their sustainability efforts to focus on actions that not only do less harm to the planet, but actually improve it. This new emphasis on environmental strategy is often referred to as - retailing with a purpose - and is now called “regenerative retailing.”
At the 2021 RDBA Virtual Experience, the panel on Cross Cultural Micro Marketing at Retail proved to be a great start to more dialogue on meeting the needs of and communicating to multi-cultural households. Moderated by Annette Maggi, MS, RD, LD, FADA, RDBA Executive Director, we heard valuable insights from Mike Lancaster, Business Manager at United Supermarkets, LLC, and Sarah Putnam, Director of Operations at Coborn’s, Inc.
A key skill looked for when retailers hire dietitians is culinary ability. Proficiency as a good home cook is often a requirement for retail RD roles. Today we’re seeing that the pivot many programs made to digital food demos and cook-alongs is likely to continue into the foreseeable future, making culinary chops even more important for success in reaching shoppers. The good news is that there are a variety of ways to gain skill, expertise, and even certification, in culinary arts.
One of the retail fallouts from the pandemic was the closing of self-service, prepared food stations such as salad bars. As safety concerns most likely will continue, the fate of bringing these food stations back remains far from certain. Because of this, retailers and equipment suppliers are rethinking the role self-service food areas will play in the future. Retail RDNs can use their skills and knowledge to suggest solutions that meet consumer and store needs. Here are some considerations: