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A recent report by Jacksonville, Fla.-based Acosta Sales & Marketing reveals that health and wellness “is undeniably a huge trend and it has become an industry imperative” for retailers as well as their supplier partners.
“Health & Wellness 360” takes an all-encompassing look at health and wellness in the CPG industry, revealing six critical facets — nutritional, social, environmental, emotional, spiritual and physical — that it argues manufacturers and retailers must address to meet consumers’ increasing pursuit of good health. The report provides tips for capitalizing on the opportunity that health-focused consumers present, outlines shopper attitudes and behaviors, examines trends such as natural and gluten-free, and lends insights into the role of federal and state government.
“Beyond health care, what industry is better positioned to impact consumers’ health and wellness?” says Colin Stewart, Acosta senior VP. “It is both a responsibility and an opportunity for retailers and manufacturers to adopt health and wellness initiatives.”
- Smart retailers know that health and wellness goes beyond selling healthy foods.
- More retailers have launched health and wellness programs and created community partnerships to support healthy living, including comprehensive wellness programs coordinated by on-staff dietitians; collaboration with schools, hospitals and adult living facilities; and mobile and internet-based nutrition education programs.
- Manufacturers must innovate for good. New products must offer more benefits and fewer negatives to resonate with label-obsessed consumers. Shoppers seek whole grains, fiber, all-natural, organic, antioxidants and more vitamins/minerals while trying to avoid additives/preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup and high fat. Front-of-package real estate is now used to position the inclusion of positive attributes (e.g., high fiber) and the absence of negative attributes (e.g., low fat).
- Consumers appreciate help in their pursuit toward a healthier lifestyle. Respondents listed their top priorities in shopping for health as: reading food labels for ingredients (61 percent), buying fresh foods instead of frozen (56 percent), buying products from established, trusted brands (55 percent) and buying foods that don’t have unhealthy ingredients (54 percent). Consumers welcome guidance and education on everything from the affordability of healthy eating to how to plan a menu.
Pharmacy -- the Solution to Chronic Illness: NACDS
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is proposing pharmacy-specific solutions in response to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s recent hearing on addressing patients’ unmet needs for chronic illness.
NACDS supports the bipartisan “Better Care, Lower Cost Act,” which would implement the use of Better Care Programs (BCPs) to provide fully integrated medical care for people with chronic diseases. “We are pleased that the legislation specifically recognizes the contributions provided by pharmacists to improve care to patients with chronic conditions,” NACDS writes. “Through personal interactions with patients, face-to-face consultations, and convenient access to preventive care services, local pharmacists are helping to shape the health care delivery system of tomorrow, in partnership with doctors, nurses and others.”
NACDS emphasizes the education and training of pharmacists “to provide comprehensive chronic medication management, health screenings, preventative care, and pharmacogenomics counseling; order and interpret lab tests; initiate and modify medication regimens; provide rapid diagnostic testing; perform physical assessments; and provide immunizations and health and wellness care.”
Additionally, NACDS supports the 21st Century Cures Initiative, which seeks to harness technology and bring together researchers, innovators and patients in order to understand diseases better and advance research that will lead toward cures.
“Community pharmacy’s potential key role in delivering new drug treatments is highlighted by the fact that pharmacies are best known for their commitment to medication safety and effectiveness – providing accurate prescriptions, helping patients take medications as prescribed and safely, and advising patients on potential drug interactions,” NACDS wrote in a recent letter to lawmakers. “Within the context of the 21st Century Cures Initiative, community pharmacy’s value is amplified through the growing efforts of the industry to provide health education and disease state testing and management.”
Arlington, Va.-based NACDS is a trade group representing traditional drug stores as well as supermarkets and mass merchants with pharmacies.