Albertsons Companies has been providing tours, mostly during the months of March/April for people with diabetes for 13+ years now. Three years ago, the number of tours provided doubled to include Safeway locations. Two years ago the tour was redesigned to include many new components, including a mindful eating tasting exercise, and the tour guide was developed to match the content of the tour. The colorful tour guide is 46 pages. This year, we were thrilled to offer the tours throughout the year and offer a Spanish translation of the guide to extend the program's reach and engage our Spanish speaking community members.
As a company throughout 2018, we’ve been partnering with dietitians in our communities to conduct tours for people with prediabetes and diabetes. Eating Healthy with Diabetes is a grocery store tour offered at no cost to our communities and led by a locally registered dietitian and our in-store pharmacist. We are on track to conduct over 300 of these tours, with an average tour size of 8-10, across our store communities. Many of our dietitians have partnered with government programs and community groups such as DPP and DEEP, senior centers and active living communities, local hospitals, YMCAs and churches, to fill their tours.
The Eating Healthy with Diabetes tours are led by Registered Dietitians in our communities for the first 70 minutes of the tour. Our pharmacists also provide additional education in the last 20 minutes of the 90-minute tour. The Registered Dietitian begins the tour in the produce section, and leads participants through various store aisles providing education on carb counting, creating a diabetes-friendly plate, tips for mindful eating and portion control, what to look for on nutrition labels, and best options in the aisles from breads and cereals to dairy and frozen entries. The dietitian even guides tour participants in a mindful eating tasting exercise often using an M&M or half of an Oreo Thin cookie. The dietitians are given a 25 dollar allowance to purchase various food items that they want to incorporate into their tour as a tasting (such as a roast turkey and provolone roll up, whole wheat bread topped with natural style peanut butter, etc.) The pharmacist discusses the A1c test, how your blood glucose meter can help you manage your diabetes, and more! All tours are provided at no charge thanks to the valued partnership between Albertsons Companies and LifeScan. Patients with prediabetes or diabetes are encouraged to attend these events.
In only 90 minutes, people with diabetes or prediabetes receive an information-packed experience in their neighborhood grocery store that reviews key information to inspire them to make healthful food choices and count their carbs or use the plate method to feel better and achieve better blood sugars. Whether someone is new to prediabetes or diabetes or has been diabetic for a while, they will likely learn new information, be inspired to make changes, and get many of their questions answered – in addition to having the ongoing support of their local pharmacy and pharmacy team.
As a company we are tracking the number of tours conducted, locations, and tour size. We have received lots of positive feedback from community groups that we have partnered with throughout the year.
Here is an article about the program:
“The Eating Healthy with Diabetes tours are led by locally Registered Dietitians and supported by our pharmacists, who provide additional education as part of each event to highlight other pharmacy services and programs patients may wish to participate in to help their diabetes. We hope that all of our customers who are interested in taking charge of their health and wellness goals can attend these free tours,” said Mark Panzer, SVP, Pharmacy Health and Wellness. “This is one more way our stores can be a solution center for our patients and customers.”