Connecting Family Meals with Health and Wellness Mar 14, 2018 By: Allison Febrey, Assistant, Health & Wellness/FMI Foundation/Food & Product Safety Families who eat together three or more times a week have a 24 percent increase in healthy foods consumption over families who eat together fewer times. The Kroger Co., a 2017 Gold Plate Award winner, focused their National Family Meals Month™campaign on this natural connection between family meals and health and wellness. Kroger Health’s mission is to “help people live healthier lives, and one of the main ways we do that is through connecting our customers to the expertise of our registered dietitians in the aisles where food decisions are made,” said Allison Kuhn, MS, RDN, LD, director retail nutrition services. Their family meals and health and wellness promotion went into all available channels. Through their National Family Meals Month campaign, Kroger reached over one million customers. One area Kroger promoted National Family Meals Month was in their Little Clinics, which are in-store medical clinics. Nutrition technicians conducted product demos and store tours with a family meal focus. Dietitians conducted CPG-sponsored personal family meals-centered shopping sessions and, as a result, the CPG sponsor companies saw an increase in sales. Clinicians and pharmacists distributed National Family Meals Month booklets to patients. These booklets were sponsored by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and detailed benefits of family meals, benefits of beef, and recipes, such as Kroger Beefy Sweet Potato Hash. Kroger carried their family meals message beyond their clinics. In-store, Kroger created Mexican and Italian-themed meal solution displays and supported the messaging with sampling and in-store audio. On social media, dietitians led a twitter chat that had enterprise support and above-average engagement. Kroger’s Inspired Gathering website was a family meals hub, with mealtime recipes, conversation starters, and tips to have successful family meals, such as “8 Small Changes to Make a Big Difference in Meal Prep Ease”. Congratulations to The Kroger Co. on their Gold Plate Award winning National Family Meals Month campaign! Now is the perfect time to start planning for National Family Meals Month. There is no fee to participate. Go to www.FMIFamilyMeals.com for ideas on how you and your company can join the movement. Learn more about the Gold Plate Awards.