Retail Industry Insights
A growing body of science continues to uncover the properties in food that can promote health. Whether it’s beta-glucan in oats, antioxidants in berries, probiotics in certain fermented foods, or omega-3s in fish, more people are looking to maximize the nutrition they get from food to help support their healthy lifestyle.
The way in which consumers digest news and make purchasing decisions is largely impacted by the political landscape, media headlines, and world events. As a retail dietitian, it is important to understand the consumer state of mind to communicate effectively and create successful promotional programs.
Shoppers today want to know where the seafood they are purchasing has come from, if sustainable practices were used and if farmed seafood is safe. Unfortunately, perceptions about seafood farming are not keeping pace with the positive state of aquaculture science. The Seafood Nutrition Partnership provides the following insights to assist with understanding sustainable seafood practices and options:
My local grocery store recently went through a remodel. Even thought it’s been a few months now since the remodel completion, I still can’t find items when I shop. They’ve moved. All the aisles are reconfigured and products are now shelved differently. I find myself annoyed, seeing grocery shopping as more of a chore than ever before.
Eating habits across America continue to shift, with a recent Nielson survey showing that 39% of the population is actively trying to eat more plant-based foods. FoodNavigator-USA lists “plant-based innovation” as a top trend for 2018 (1). Food companies are responding with an increasing number of plant-based products taking up their fair share of the meat and dairy cases.
Educational events centered around an entire food group allows you to drive traffic to different departments, promote the unique nutritional benefits of key foods, and highlight new items or private brand products. Such promotions also offer the opportunity to partner with key organizations who can support your efforts with content and resources. The Whole Grains Council (WGC) and Oldways, for example, has an entire program centered around whole grain sampling and many retailers are turning this day into a successful selling event.
When Heather Steele, RD, LD, Dietitian for Reasor’s Foods says she likes to dig into her work, she’s not kidding. One year ago, Heather started the Dig with a Dietitian program and has been getting her hands dirty ever since. The program provides free nutrition and gardening classes to local underserved communities and helps the retailer achieve its goals for community outreach and education.
By partnering with grocery managers, ShopRite’s Health and Wellness team, which includes over 100 in-store and corporate dietitians servicing over 140 ShopRite stores across the Northeast, has created a food-focused communication strategy called Well Everyday that inspires customers to eat well while helping them to think differently about wellness. Stephanie Perez, MPH, RD, Retail Dietitian Supervisor and Allison Ryder, Health & Wellness Project Manager for Wakefern Food Corporation, share information on how this program is meeting consumer needs and driving sales.
Today’s shoppers are more health-minded than ever and seek foods and beverages that support their well-being. As a result, probiotics are no longer reserved for those with gut issues or as a way to maintain regularity.