Progressive Grocer Independent

DEC 2016

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December 2016 | Defining the Independent Market | 29 dietitian helps guide shoppers' choices by offering samples of healthier options — when money's a factor, customers are less likely to buy something they've never tried — like frozen peach yogurt with a few blueberries, or low-sugar versions of products to prove they're as flavorful as their full-sugar counterparts. In the two higher-income-demo- graphic Green Valley Marketplace stores located in Baltimore's suburbs, affordability wasn't an issue, but customers still wanted education. e Eat Right, Live Well program was also introduced in the suburban stores, but the signage focuses on organic, free- from products, non-GMOs, gluten- free items, and the like. e stores also use a holistic nutritionist to offer advice and instruction to customers. Shopping Guidance Retailers also can use dietitians' knowledge to guide customers even when they don't have the time to meet with the dietitian in per- son. Providing nutrition guidance throughout the store will provide customers with constant reminders to make healthier choices. Harmons, with 17 stores in Utah, established its Dietitian's Choice program to highlight products within the store that are healthier options. e stamp of approval from the chain's six on-staff dietitians is often found on products that include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and items that have high amounts of fiber and are low in sodium, saturated fat and added sugar. Products that include hydro- genated oils, artificial sweeteners and high-fructose corn syrup aren't on the approval list. e program is intended to help take the guesswork out of shopping for customers. e independent chain also introduced healthy checkout lanes in 2013, with each store designating one lane to feature healthful options included in the Dieti- tian's Choice program. e lane is denoted by signage hanging from the ceiling as well as at- tached to the floor. e specialized checkouts saw a 10 percent in- crease in sales from the previous year, and as of last year, all of the stores had two healthy checklanes each. e United Family of Stores, based in Lubbock, Texas, has upgraded its Build a Better Basket (BBB) program by launching the Color Your Basket initiative this year. Working within the BBB platform, which places health tags on foods that hit 10 distinct attri- butes, the color campaign highlights a different color each month and focuses on what specific health benefits foods of that color offer. For example, September was Blue & Purple month, so United's banners highlighted that adults who eat blue and purple fruits and vegetables have reduced risk for high blood pressure and are less likely to be overweight. In February, Red month, the stores noted that 1 cup of cooked beets provides one-third of the daily folate needed for a healthy heart. e com- pany's dietitians also offer recipes and cooking tips for these foods. Bring Healthy Back Andronico's Market, with five stores in the Bay Area, launched its Fit Market in August 2015. (It was announced at press time that Safeway had acquired Andronico's.) e program is an effort "to bring healthy back," according to CEO Suzy Monford. Fit Market shelf tags are used throughout the stores to guide customers in making healthier choices. Andronico's also hired a chef to reformulate its prepared foods into more healthful versions. Addition- ally, health coaches, nutritionists and fitness professionals provide guidance to customers throughout the store and on Andronico's website. A Fit Market Grocery List focuses on fresh, mini- mally processed foods with maximum nutrients and minimal calories. e suggested foods include organic op- tions, with a focus on a well-balanced diet of meat/seafood proteins and produce, seeds and grains. e stores also use signage to encourage exercise. As part of bringing healthy back, Andronico's has intro- duced FitBank, an app that allows both customers and employees to accu- mulate credit for store rewards every time they work out. Each workout is tracked and banked for redemption for coupons for free products, or store gift cards. Further, employees have the op- tion of using their credits for an extra day of paid time off, or a gift card for the equivalent of one day's pay. Weight Loss Supermarkets also can provide help for consumers looking to lose weight and are the perfect place for them to turn, since they're purchasing food from the stores. Five Safeway stores in the Bay Area recently added weight loss clinics next to their pharmacies through a partner- ship with the Lean for Life weight loss "How do you get [shoppers] to choose salad and apples over ramen and chips?" —Rick Rodgers, B. Green ANDRONICO'S Fit Market tags highlight healthy choices throughout the stores.

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