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Rouses Markets has appointed its first-ever full-time dietitian, Esther Ellis, RD, as part of a recently introduced program at the regional grocer.
"Our new initiative, Eat Right with Rouses, is all about building a healthier Gulf Coast," noted Donny Rouse, managing partner of the Thibodaux, La.-based chain, which operates nearly 50 stores in three states. "On the Gulf Coast, where we live to eat, healthy has to taste good. Eat Right with Rouses is focused on food that is healthy and tasty."
Ellis' brief is to handpick healthy, fresh products for customers, with her recommendations to be marked on shelves and included in advertising. "With Eat Right with Rouses, there's no complicated nutritional scoring system for the customer to follow, and no food that tastes like cardboard," she promised, adding, "I’m from Louisiana. I need food with flavor."
The Baton Rouge native will also oversee in-store health screenings, shopping tours and nutrition classes. "Our grocery stores are a natural setting for people to talk about nutrition and meal planning," said Rouse. In addition to those activities, Ellis will develop nutritional breakdowns for all of the company's recipes, prepared foods and Rouses-branded food products.
"We've always been a resource for our customers, from teaching people the importance of local, to introducing them to food and food customs from around the world," continued Rouse. "Our new dietitian, Esther, and Eat Right with Rouses will help our customers make smarter choices at the shelf."
The next new Rouses Market is scheduled to open in Baton Rouge in 2016, with more stores in the planning stages.