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Since opportunities to promote better health exist throughout the store – even some relatively unlikely places – grocers should make sure that customers are aware of better-for-you options no matter what aisle they’re shopping.
Citing her company’s recent research, Jaime Schwartz Cohen, MS, RD, director of nutrition at New York-based public relations and marketing agency Ketchum, observes that “shoppers closely align fresh with health, so creating a relationship between fresh and the middle of the store and front of the store, as well as informing consumers of how frozen and canned can be equivalent to fresh support a health position across the store.”
Adds Cohen: “Retail merchandising strategies that give
s a clear path from the store shelf to the home kitchen and real-life behaviors are most successful in supporting healthier habits among consumers. This includes cross-merchandising so that all of the ingredients in a recipe are found in one place, providing recipe cards, and offering in-store resources like registered dietitians and chefs who help guide shoppers to simple preparations and healthful habits.”
Orlando, Fla.-based Produce for Kids (PFK) recommends similar strategies to help boost fruit and vegetable consumption among children and their families. “Grocery stores can take advantage of opportunities to showcase healthy meal solutions that incorporate produce as well as other items across the store,” says PFK VP Trish James. “Many retailers are also utilizing registered dietitians in-store. For those retailers, we recommend regular communication with their registered dietitians as to what products/items they recommend based on current promotions and what’s in season.”
In fact, this year PFK plans to roll out an initiative incorporating RDs, whom James believes will become even more popular as a resource for health-seeking shoppers, both in terms of “specific health needs and general lifestyle questions.” The We heart RDs program “will provide in-store registered dietitians with a monthly toolkit to assist them in their day-to-day interactions with shoppers,” notes James. “Our kits will include recipes, a guide to What’s in Season, Healthy Eater stickers and more.”