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    Editor’s Note

    The food industry continues to provide U.S. consumers with valuable information on staying healthy. But the challenge remains in the retailers’ hands to help those consumers — retail customers — determine which message, which lifestyle, which choice is right for them.

    By Michelle Moran

    The food industry continues to provide U.S. consumers with valuable information on staying healthy. But the challenge remains in the retailers’ hands to help those consumers — retail customers — determine which message, which lifestyle, which choice is right for them.

    Grocers across the country are offering nutritional education, including Michigan-based Spartan Stores, which introduced a new program called The Nutrition Guide through its West Michigan banners D&W Fresh Markets and Family Fare Supermarkets this month. The store identified more than 16,000 products with a color-coded labeling system, noting low-fat, low-sodium, high-fiber, gluten-free, sugar-free and low-calorie.

    In addition, grocery stores have long provided healthy in-store clinic services — whether on a part-time or full-time basis — offering everything from annual flu shots to blood pressure checks. Grocers are taking on the challenge of consumer-centric pharmacies and discount stores by utilizing tools to make prescription refills simpler. United Supermarkets announced this week it’s utilizing a complete suite of online tools from MyWebGrocer and ePharmacy designed to help enhance all aspects of guests’ needs online. United’s enhanced online pharmacy gives guests access to refill prescriptions anytime. Online guests simply fill out an online refill form and the request is sent directly to the pharmacy location of their choice to be filled.

    In this month’s Trend Alert, StayWell’s fifth installment of its six-part series continues, focusing on the role of retail in revolutionizing health care and the economy. Retailers, more than any other segment of the health care delivery system, have the greatest influence in engaging consumers to adopt healthier lifestyles. Dave Nazaruk, senior vice president, retail business development for StayWell/MediMedia USA, believes that food and drug retailers are uniquely positioned to:
       • Spark a major revolution in consumer health and wellness.
       • Become consumers’ first choice for information, products and services to improve their   health, increasing sales of those products and services.
       • Capture a large share of online advertising revenues for products currently being absconded by eHealth sites, by providing manufacturers with highly targeted shopper populations.
       • Greatly enhance Rx, OTC, CPG and other health-related product sales.

    Our trend alert this week discusses a range of these topics from the increased number of products coming to the market with the all-natural sweetener stevia to consumers’ perceptions of sustainability as it relates to the food and beverage category; and the benefits of creating an in-store health and wellness program.

    Let me know about the programs you are instituting in your stores — for your customers and/or your employees — and we’ll discuss them in an upcoming newsletter or on our blog at www.AisleChatter.com. If you’re particularly satisfied with a healthy and wellness program or product you’ve implemented, drop me a note at [email protected].

    By Michelle Moran
    • About Michelle Moran

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