By: Allison Febrey, Specialist, FMI Foundation
Growing up, the hottest food on the playground was fruit snacks. If you had one of those strawberry gummy snacks, everyone wanted to be your friend. By middle school the food fad was chewing gum. In high school and college, coffee became the vice of choice.
For the grocery industry, trends aren’t always as easy to identify. Some, like the Keto diet, can create confusion for the consumer. On the other hand, a hot item like plant-based proteins can spark consumer demand. No matter the food trend consumers desire, food retailers responding to The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2019 report see consumers’ focus on health and well-being as having a positive impact on their business strategy. For the second year in a row, food retailers identified the top two issues positively impacting sales/profits as the health and wellness proposition (82%) and the food as medicine trend (76%). Over the next two years, survey respondents plan to increase their investment in:
- Consumer health and well-being programs (45%).
- Cooking schools/classes (40%).
- Nutrition programs (37%).
- Pharmacy (19%).
- Retail dietitian (19%).
The Health and Wellness Concept
While food retailers are seeing benefits from health and wellness programs, the concept of health and wellness tends to look different to everyone. According to U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends research, consumers define eating well as anything from “I ate nutritious foods” to “I ate within my budget” to “I ate foods that are produced in an environmentally sustainable way.”
While grocery stores can agree that health and wellness is positively affecting sales, how can they meet the various needs of consumers? Grocery stores take various approaches towards personalizing health and wellness. Here are two examples:
One approach is to educate consumers surrounding disease. Albertsons Companies, a Community Outreach Award winner, has hosted store tours focused on diabetes information. These tours review key information that inspire people to make healthful food choices and achieve better blood sugars. Customers also have the ongoing support of their local pharmacy team.
Adding Some Fun
Another way grocery stores have personalized health and wellness is by introducing some fun surrounding mealtime. Sharing family meals has all sorts of health benefits. Festival Foods, a Gold Pate Award Winner, introduced a quiz to determine a shopper’s style of dinner. People could be Adventurous, Family Focused, Timesaver and Bargain Hunter. Then, based on a customer’s meal style, Festival Foods' Mealtime Mentors recommended recipes.
How Your Store Can Emphasize Health and Well-Being
Every department of the grocery store represents an opportunity to showcase health and well-being. FMI has many resources for boosting health and wellness within your store, including:
- Best Practices and Excellence in Fresh Department Health and Wellness Programming.
- Delivering Health and Wellness with Private Brands.
- Best Practices for Family Meals.
For more resources visit our health and wellness webpage.