Progressive Grocer Independent

DEC 2016

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28 | Progressive Grocer Independent | December 2016 Health Advisors Business In the 2016 Food and Health Survey, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) asked the question, "How do you define a healthy food?," leaving the response field open-ended. e results were vague at best. What is Healthy? e No. 1 response, at 35 percent, was that the food didn't contain (or had low levels of) certain components. So, what a food doesn't have is more important than what it does have. Some of the "does not contain" elements included low/no fat, low/no sugar, low/no sodium, low/no carbohydrates and low/ no cholesterol. e second-highest response was an indistinct "good-for- you" definition from 18 percent of re- spondents, and coming in third, at 17 percent, was "contains certain foods/ components." Rounding out the top five was no artificial ingredients or ad- ditives, at 14 percent, and the equally problematic natural, at 10 percent. However, IFIC found in its 2015 survey that food labeled with a health attribute had sales increases of 13 percent versus the overall flat sales seen in the rest of the market. According to Nielsen data, 62 percent of consumers are looking for foods made from veg- etables or fruits, 61 percent seek high fiber and 57 percent want whole grain as well as portion control. Education is key, and exactly what consumers are looking for, which is where grocers come into play. While the majority of consumers seek infor- mation online, dietitians and nutri- tionists are the most trusted sources to provide accurate information about both food safety and the types of foods consumers should be eating, with 70 percent of respondents citing them in the IFIC survey. e opportunity is real for retail dietitians. According to Progressive Grocer's "2016 Retail Dietitian Study," more than 50 percent of grocers employ dietitians in some capacity; out of total respondents, 12.5 percent of single- store operators have retail dietitians, as do more than 47 percent of two-to-50- store operators. Retailers of all sizes are making strides in becoming trusted nutritional sources for customers. e efforts range from the grand to small tweaks, but the methods are proving beneficial. Eat Right, Live Well Retailers often serve different dem- ographics that may have different needs when it comes to education about healthy food. Creating a pro- gram that can be modified as needed can pay dividends. B. Green Co., with four stores in the Baltimore area, took a two- pronged approach to its health educa- tion. For the two Food Depot stores located in the inner city, the retailer partnered with Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and the city of Baltimore to develop the Eat Right, Live Well program. is was particu- larly critical in the case of one of the Food Depot stores, which is located in the poorest ZIP code in the city, with the youngest mortality age. "How do you get them to choose salad and apples over ramen and chips?" asks Rick Rodgers, B. Green COO. e Eat Right, Live Well program created a variety of shelf tags and other signage to alert customers to the healthier options in the store. Shelf labels include callouts like low sodium, organic, healthier sugar level, low fat, 100 percent juice and better choice. Posters also guide customers with in- formation like "1 cup of skim milk has 60 fewer calories than whole milk." e trick for B. Green is to con- vince Food Depot shoppers that they can afford the healthier options and still feed their families. An in-store HARMONS Each store features two healthy checklanes stocked with dietitian-approved options.

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