Leveraging Kid-Focused Events to Drive Purchase of BFY Foods
Curious about how to encourage more parents and kids to make healthier food purchases? Summer is a great time to host kid-friendly events as schools are out and parents are often looking for fun, enriching, and educational activities to prevent boredom. Retail RDs are leveraging this need to fill kids’ long summer days by teaching nutrition and cooking skills in the supermarket. It’s the one place that education can happen while consumers are making purchase decisions and have all the options in front of them.
Here are a few highlights of kids’ programs at supermarkets or led by retail dietitians in their communities across the country.
- Marlton ShopRite. Ashley Cully, MS, RD recently hosted a Girl Scouts Cooking Class & Store Tour. According to Cully, "The troop leader for this group contacted me a few months ago for a cooking class and store tour for the troop of 10 year-old girls. We used the break room for the cooking class. We made the Kids Cook Monday recipe for black bean lettuce wraps. None of the girls ever had lettuce wraps before, but they compared this to a healthier taco, which they liked.” Cully indicates that the group discussed all of the ingredients, MyPlate, and ways to modify the recipe. “Some of the girls never had avocado before so it was great they got to try it (and like it!)” she comments. The last 30 minutes of the event were spent in a store tour with stops in produce, cereal, fruit snacks, bread, and yogurt. Ashley is hopeful the troop will come back for another tour or scavenger hunt, about which they were excited.
- With more of a marketing angle, Niemann Foods, County Market has partnered with Produce for Kids Club. The campaign focuses on getting local families informed and excited about healthy eating. In addition, the campaign is raising funds for The Salvation Army Food Pantry. In the program, County Market shoppers can sign up for the club by purchasing two or more select produce items. The Produce for Kids campaign is supported by more than 35 participating fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers, representing every major category of fresh produce. The Kids Club gives families access to a healthy eating welcome kit along with meal planning and games for parents and children respectively. In addition, the site includes 200 registered dietitian-approved and family-tested recipes, meal planning tools, grocery store specific campaign details, and healthy tips from real parents.
- Balls Food Stores/Hen House Markets. Jennifer Egeland, MS, RD, LD is making a great effort to educate the whole family. Hen House Markets has offered free nutrition education tours since 2007 through the Field Trip Factory “Be a Smart Shopper” program. The program teaches how to eat from MyPlate, includes taste testing of healthy foods for kids, and gives them educational material to take home. According to Egeland, “It’s a fun program that lets kids explore the healthy foods in the store while encouraging healthy habits and exercise.”