Maximizing Health & Wellness Messaging in Fresh Perimeter Categories
By Monica Amburn, MS, RDN, Senior Director of Health and Wellness at Vestcom
Even though most fresh perimeter categories benefit from health-halo status, retailers are increasingly seeking opportunities to communicate the distinct benefits of their better-for-you fresh offerings at the point of sale. While this is a fantastic opportunity for retail dietitians to create meaningful educational content for shoppers, navigating the operational and regulatory considerations in PLU-driven categories is a bit trickier than in center store categories. Based on over 10 years of creating trustworthy and federally compliant health and wellness messaging for grocery retailers, the Vestcom healthyAisles® team offers recommended do’s and don’ts for creating effective fresh perimeter messaging.
- Ensure alignment of key messages and themes with your marketing team. For example, if your retailer has prioritized promotion of its in-house prepped vegetable program, coordinate content to share quick and healthy recipes using these same items.
- Talk to your in-store marketing and/or pricing teams to learn what types of printed media are acceptable across each department in store. The size of a sign in produce will likely vary from the signs used in fresh meat and seafood. This will help you determine how much space you will have for messaging on sign.
- Be careful when it comes to making nutrient or health claims at the point of sale. If you make a claim, the FDA requires the full nutrition facts panel and ingredient list (when applicable) for that product to be available either on package, or easily accessible at the point of sale. This applies to all fresh prepared, bakery, meat, seafood, and produce items. Posters with nutrition facts for fruits, vegetables, and some fresh seafood items can be downloaded from the FDA for use in store.
- Familiarize yourself with the FDA’s list of Authorized Health Claims and Qualified Health Claims and be sure your messaging is in alignment with these standards.
- Don’t overcomplicate the message at the point of sale. Available real estate on a tag or sign is limited, and shopper’s need to be able to understand the message at quick glance.
- Don’t over-focus on health claims in produce – this results in redundant messaging in a health-halo category. Instead provide actionable inspiration through prep tips, snack ideas, and tricks to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into commonly made meals (tacos, pizza, etc).
- If you begin to struggle with FDA’s guidelines, don’t stress. This is why health and wellness experts like those at Vestcom exist to help you ensure you’re delivering compliant messaging to shoppers.
The Vestcom healthyAisles® program helps emphasize health and wellness attributes to shoppers at the shelf-edge, with seamless retailer integration, leveraging a proprietary database of 100+ attributes based on FDA and USDA guidelines. Contact Vestcom’s Senior Director of Health & Wellness, Monica Amburn to learn more.