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Grocery retailers need to own the health and wellness message, and it doesn't have to be restricted to the goods and services they offer to shoppers.
As I noted in a recent column, progressive grocers are starting to adopt a 360-degree position that partners the food and pharmacy sides of their business to promote an overall wellness solution. Others, like The Kroger Co., recognize that an effective corporate wellness mission starts from the inside out.
And it's working, as the Cincinnati-based grocery giant has been recognized for its commitment to employee health and wellness by both the National Business Group on Health and the American Heart Association.
"Kroger is committed to giving our associates the tools to improve their health in both big and small ways," said Theresa Monti, Kroger's VP of total rewards. "We're making great progress in improving our health, and these awards recognize our efforts both individually and as an entire company. Our success in becoming a healthier workforce directly improves our personal and work lives, which also benefits our customers."
The National Business Group on Health recognized Kroger as a first time Gold winner for the 2014 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards. This coveted award recognizes the best workplace well-being programs for employees and their families, both in the United States and globally.
For the second consecutive year, Kroger received the American Heart Association's Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite recognition. The company has been recognized for its initiative in areas such as offering employees physical activity options in the workplace, providing or increasing healthy eating options at the worksite, and demonstrating measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.
Kroger employs more than 375,000 associates at 2,640 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.