The Changing Face of Health & Wellness at the Grocery Store

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As living a healthy lifestyle has become more and more important to a growing number of Americans, consumers have turned to a wide range of sources for guidance. Health professionals remain the most trusted source, but grocery retailers are investing more dollars in an effort to become a bigger part of the health & wellness equation.

Just how much are retailers investing? More than you might think. The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) regularly conducts surveys among food retailers to understand how they are contributing to health and wellness. Their 2017 survey delivered some interesting—and surprising—results:

  • Food retailers have accelerated their investments in health & wellness. 89% stated that they have an established health & wellness program for customers and employees. For comparison, only 54% of retailers had these programs in 2014.

  • They’ve hired experts. 71% have a dedicated health & wellness team, while nearly 90% have dietitians on staff at the corporate, regional, or store level.

  • They’re providing in-store resources. 81% offer store tours focused on healthy eating. 

  • They’re supporting the in-store experience with online resources. 93% have websites dedicated to health & wellness, including healthy recipes, educational content, and nutrition Q&As.

  • They’re partnering with trusted health professionals. 79% have plans to partner with local hospitals or healthcare networks within the next year.

  • Investment in health & wellness is only going to grow. 96% stated that they are committed to expanding health & wellness in their stores.

These health & wellness programs are all designed to reinforce and support the efforts of health professionals like you. Though each retailer is different, there are a few common trends that stand out. How can your patients and clients benefit from these trends? Keep reading.

Good-for-You Products

Food retailers are making a conscious effort to offer good-for-you products. This includes offering healthier prepared foods too. Not only do food retailers offer these good-for-you products in their stores, they also help customers identify them. In-store signage, front-of-pack labeling on private label products, store tours, and shelf call-outs are just a few ways retailers are making it easier for shoppers to add healthy foods to their shopping carts.

Shopper Engagement Activities

Retailers are doing more than simply providing their customers with healthy foods. They’re also showing them how these healthy products fit a healthy lifestyle through weight management programs, food safety education, and cooking classes. Many retailers also provide healthy recipes, developed by dietitians, for shoppers to prepare on their own at home.

In-Store Health Professionals

Many food retailers have in-store dietitians and pharmacies. According to the report, 32% of retailers have invested in in-store clinics as well. These in-store clinics and pharmacies serve as a convenient way for patients to receive immediate care for simple, routine wellness procedures such as immunizations and health screenings.  

There’s no doubt that food retailers are taking their investment in health & wellness seriously. These initiatives serve as an excellent resource for both you and your patients, but many people aren’t aware of all that they entail. Educating your patients and clients on the health & wellness value to be found at the neighborhood grocery store is a great way to enhance your conversations and help them take small steps toward better health. After all, there’s no one-stop-shop for health & wellness.