Retailers can be allies to patrons by ushering them into the better-for-you sections of the store to highlight nutrient-dense foods that match their lifestyles and preferences.
Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, shoppers are also setting their sights on the ways that they can make positive changes for their health in the new year. Too often, customers rely on weight management as a barometer by which to measure their health successes or failures. Weight loss and dieting are fleeting, however, and not reliable measures of health status, despite making regular appearances on New Year’s resolution lists. Healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean striving for the latest low-calorie food, but should instead be focused on seeking out foods with more health benefits, like helping to control or prevent chronic disease, and foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
[Read more: "Helping Shoppers Rethink Snack Choices"]
Retailers can be allies to patrons by ushering them into the better-for-you sections of the store to highlight nutrient-dense foods that match their lifestyles and preferences. Throughout the aisles, plenty of products exist that combine easy preparation, affordability and impressive nutrition facts. Encourage consumers to browse healthy foods for their upcoming 2023 eating resolutions in four major grocery store sections: produce, frozen, delicatessen and canned foods.
Nutrition abounds in the produce section. Whether it’s kumquats, dragon fruits and pomegranates, or mushrooms, lettuce and tomatoes, fruits and vegetables offer power beyond the plate. These foods may increase energy, improve digestion, protect organ function, and prevent major health conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Partner with your merchandising and category management teams to set up informative displays in the produce area that highlight major benefits of in-season winter produce like sweet potatoes, pears, Brussels sprouts and kiwi. Invite your retail dietitians to coordinate cooking demos that draw attention to these fruits and vegetables through attractive main dishes or welcome side dishes to improve sales lift and foster customers’ health.
Frozen foods have seen much more widespread acceptance over the past several years, as evidenced by the growing share of shoppers’ carts. Meals, snacks and even novelties in the frozen section have expanded in variety and seen improvements in ingredient decks. Create window clings and add more meal suggestions within your retailer’s app to inspire customers to make meals and snacks using frozen foods. Examples include smoothies (frozen fruit + frozen vegetables + protein powder + low-fat dairy/nondairy milk); stir-fries (frozen vegetable and noodle kit + frozen poultry/plant-based poultry + low-sodium sauce); or waffles (frozen whole-grain waffles + frozen berries + maple syrup).
The deli doesn’t just mean cold cuts and cheese slices, but also salads, prepared pastas, soups, relishes, salsas, spreads and more. Lure shoppers to this area by showcasing products that are both convenient and healthy additions to mealtime. Provide digital coupons for stacking the savings on larger quantities of foods to support New Year’s goals, such as bean-based soup, hummus, mixed green salads, roasted vegetable mixes, light coleslaws and lentil salads. Shoppers may also respond well to good deals on building a “to-go” meal from three or more deli items, or coupons toward better-for-you meal kits that take the guesswork out of eating well in the new year.
Foods preserved via canning have long shelf lives and are simple to add to healthy recipes for the home cook. Show how versatile canned goods can be with cross-merchandising efforts. Canned fruit like no-sugar-added cherries with reduced-sugar ice cream, or canned no-salt-added corn and black beans with whole wheat tortillas, make it practical for shoppers to build their carts well for 2023. Take the opportunity to clear up any confusion that customers may have about the healthfulness of canned goods by inviting your social media teams and retail dietitians to create blogs, livestreams and other digital content to emphasize the benefits associated with many canned foods.
The new year often brings a renewed interest in personal health and can provide the perfect opportunity for retailers to be true wellness destinations for their shoppers and communities.