Building Solutions for the Future
By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
As dietitians, we have membership in a variety of Dietetics Practice Groups. Over the years, I have been a member of Nutrition Entrepreneurs, and this year have been thrilled with one key benefit of membership – a subscription to Entrepreneur Magazine. The latest issue focused on how we solve tomorrow’s problems today, and many ideas have relevance for retail health and wellbeing programs.
Idea #1: Build Consumer Trust. In this year of the pandemic, consumers have shifted what matters most to them. While price, taste and nutrition have also been central to food buying decisions, food safety, shopper safety and employee safety have risen to the top when it comes to decisions on where, when and how to purchase food. Retailers need to rebuild trust with shoppers, in part by addressing these issues. Retail dietitians are positioned to educate shoppers on corporate policies, but can take it one step further by visually showcasing all the measures your company has in place to ensure safety at all levels.
Idea #2: Address Shifting Consumer Needs. Life is more emotional now, and shopper needs may be far from logical. In your messaging and solution selling, it’s essential to showcase empathy for what consumers are going through and to prove you understand your shopper. Shift your playbook to what shoppers are really managing against today to maintain their loyalty.
Idea #3: Open Your Doors in a whole new way. #We’reAllinThisTogether carries a lot of meaning for consumers, and they’re open to hearing the challenges and struggles of their favorite businesses and valuable service providers like retail RDs. Help them understand how you can all work together to keep your programs and services successful and they’re likely to respond positively.
Idea #4: Pivot. What worked pre-COVID may not be working in the middle of COVID or post-COVID. It’s likely you’ve pivoted your working model and offered services in the short-term, but consider emerging opportunities to help your programs and services thrive and help your shoppers live more healthfully.