Registration is now open for retail dietitians to attend the RDBA Virtual Experience, Pave the Way: A New Era of Retail Dietetics. Scheduled for May 4-6, the event includes education sessions targeted to the unique business and industry needs of retail RDs, face-to-face networking with retail RD colleagues, facilitated discussion groups on topics of interest to retail RDs, and multiple opportunities for discussing partnerships with event sponsors.
Vaccinations are humming along at 1.5 million a day, the number of new daily COVID cases are dropping in states across the country, and many feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to appear. We begin to dream about a post-pandemic world, recognizing that the world will forever be changed due to this pandemic. Along with this change are alterations in business, in work, and in roles. Here’s a compilation of five skills deemed to be important for success in a post-pandemic work world.
The beverage category has seen tremendous growth and change over the past several years and the pandemic has spurred on the development of imaginative new products focused on well-being. As consumers seek products with life-enhancing ingredients and attributes that promote wellness, retail dietitians should be equipped to provide expert advice while aligning appropriate, better-for-you beverage options within promotional programming. Here are some trends to look for:
As an In-Store Dietitian at Loblaws, I’m responsible for promoting and providing nutrition and health education to customers at two Loblaws stores (in Toronto and Richmond Hill, Canada). This takes place through individual personalized counseling, Shop With the Dietitian tours, group workshops and events, children’s programs, on-the-floor customer interactions and food/nutrition education demos (pre-COVID).
Owned brands are more important today than they ever have been, for both retailers and consumers. As assortment breadth has narrowed, driven by the pandemic driving more streamlined production, owned brands allow retailers to be less dependent on national brands and focus on a smaller number of SKUs with higher sell-through rates.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides food stamps, are the two main programs that offer nutrition assistance to low-income families. While most every retailer participates in these programs there are strategic ways for retail dietitians to engage and educate eligible shoppers, help drive incremental sales and positively impact public health. Consider these opportunities to:
There has been a lot written and discussed about how COVID-19 exposed the supply chain, how transportation flaws forced the surge in oat milk sales and how being stuck at home fueled the sales of baker’s yeast, flour and bread making machines. There is a lot more to the story that will, perhaps, change the way supermarket shelves look in the future.
Today, consumers are tracking their daily steps and their sleep patterns along with logging their food intake. Individuals can be obsessed with this personalized data, using it to monitor healthy behaviors, manage weight and chronic conditions, and set lifestyle goals. Wearables are becoming more sophisticated with the ability to monitor blood sugar levels or dose multiple medications or supplements throughout the day. Layered on top of this lifestyle monitoring is the ability to use a variety of diagnostic tests at home, creating a new industry of personalized diagnostics. Based on blood or stool samples or cheek swabs, consumers are spending their own dollars to better understand nutrient deficiencies, the state of their microbiome, or if they are gluten sensitive.
Medically tailored meals are growing in popularity as part of the Food as Medicine movement. These meals are personalized to address the medical needs of recipients by an RDN, and are designed to improve health outcomes, lower cost of care and increase patient satisfaction. As consumers look to retailers for more food related health and wellness resources, could a retail MTM program be the next step in providing a personalized health solution? With opportunities for reimbursement and the current pandemic situation, this may be a perfect time to look at this opportunity. Here are some MTM questions to first consider: