By: Tom Cosgrove, Manager, Program and Development, FMI Foundation
In Store National Family Meals Month

Research tells us that nearly nine out of 10 food retailers already routinely take advantage of in-store marketing initiatives like product sampling (86 percent) or healthy recipes (86 percent) and good-for-you product displays (86 percent) (2017 Retailer Contributions to Health and Wellness). So why not take advantage of those same initiatives to encourage shoppers to participate in National Family Meals Month™ and share one more meal each week with their families?

Plenty of retailers did just that last year, and here are a few examples that you can try in your own stores.

  • Baesler’s Market in Terre Haute, Ind., already offers its customers pre-packaged kits with meal ingredients and recipes that it usually markets via its DinnerCall app. During National Family Meals Month, it expanded that marketing to include in-store signage in conjunction with its bakery, meat, deli and dairy departments. Cashiers distributed “Raise your mitt to commit!” stickers at checkout to draw even more attention to the campaign.
  • The three Dorothy Lane Market stores in the Dayton, Ohio, feature weekly recipe “hacks" — shortcut guides to making delicious meals at home — and displayed all the ingredients necessary to create them in its store lobbies, sampling one evening meal dish each week.
  • Hannaford Supermarkets, which has 189 stores throughout New England and New York, launched its “Good Ideas for Busy Families” campaign with end-cap and off-shelf signage featuring recipe ideas and special pricing for the ingredients. It also created a Good Ideas for Busy Families booklet and a Store Tour Guide Book that focused on kid-and-family-friendly recipes.
  • ShopRite of Lyndhurst (N.J.) held classes conducted by its dietitians and offered meal samples during its National Family Meals Mont initiative last year. Each week, it prepared new recipe cards featuring sample dinners and cut and prepackaged the produce necessary for each one in order to make it that much easier for customers to make sure their families had the healthy meals they wanted.

These are just a few of the examples of the initiatives that food retailers can undertake — be they chains with hundreds of outlets or single independent family-owned stores with one location.

That’s not all either: You can learn about other examples and ideas you can use in your own initiatives in the 2017 Best Practices for National Family Meals Month guide.