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:More and more grocers are realizing that their stores are the perfect place to reach customers with messages about health and wellness. Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has been tuned in to this trend for several years now, and two recent programs it participated in with the Kellogg Co. suggest that in-store promotions can be a win-win for retailers and manufacturers.
Working with PULSE Health and Wellness Initiatives, a marketing firm based in Chapel Hill, N.C., Kellogg designed a three-year health-oriented program called "Healthy Beginnings." The program involved a variety of retail activations, including free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, sampling events of Kellogg's Healthy Beginnings products, and free distribution of collateral materials that focused on tools and resources consumers could use.
The program spawned more than 12,000 events across 65 retail accounts in 2007, according to Brian Levy, v.p. of strategy and corporate development at PULSE. Food Lion was one of those retail accounts.
The grocer also participated in an offshoot of the program that PULSE executed for Kellogg's Smart Start cereal. That promotion involved giveaways of Kellogg's Smart Start Healthy Heart Kits. These kits included a home cholesterol test, as well as a coupon for a blood pressure monitor, and were free when consumers bought three boxes of Smart Start cereal.
Levy points to the advantages that retailers see from this type of in-store promotional partnership. "For retailers, the store is the place to reach consumers when they're making product choices. Shoppers are generally in the frame of mind to be thinking about health and wellness when they're in the supermarket. So these programs meet that need, as well as help manufacturers promote their products."
Following the Kellogg promotion, PULSE has continued working with Food Lion to bring health-and-wellness events to the retailer's grand openings and market renewals, according to Levy. "The leadership at Food Lion feels health and wellness is strategically something they want to be known for," he notes. "Activities have ranged from sampling events to health coaching."