Hannaford’ registered dietitian program provides more than 1,000 free classes and store tours focused on principles of healthy eating to customers across five states on an annual basis.
Hannaford Supermarkets’ registered dietitian program is celebrating 20 years of helping customers make healthy choices.
Since its introduction in 2002, the program has become a mainstay for shoppers both in-store and online. The initiative, which provides free nutrition education from Hannaford’s roster of registered dietitians, helps shoppers identify nutritious meal ideas and learn about shopping strategies for eating healthy on a budget or for specific dietary needs, such as heart disease or diabetes.
[Read more: “Hannaford Supermarkets Unveils Easy Meal Options in New York”]
The program has grown significantly since its launch two decades ago, when it became one of the first programs of its kind to be offered by a large-scale supermarket retailer in the Northeast. Beginning with four dietitians in a handful of stores, Hannaford now provides access to free nutrition education from more than 30 dietitians in 50-plus stores across New England and New York. In the digital realm, Hannaford has hosted more than 550 free online nutrition classes so far in 2022.
“Making it easier for our communities to learn about the benefits of incorporating healthy, fresh foods into their lives has always been important to Hannaford,” said Hannaford Supermarkets Healthy Living Manager Sue Till. “Our registered dietitian program is an important resource for customers seeking to improve their health and wellness. We are tremendously proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this program and look forward to continuing to enhance the free nutrition resources we provide to our customers in the years to come.”
Hannaford registered dietitians lead more than 1,000 in-store classes, tours and online seminars per year focused on a variety of topics, including heart-healthy eating, shopping using the Guiding Stars nutrition navigation system, meal planning made easy, and nutrition for kids. Additionally, the dietitians support 200 community events each year by providing nutrition education at schools, libraries and health care facilities. The program has supported more than 200,000 shoppers to date in 2022.
“Being a supermarket dietitian allows me to support my community, whether it be an aisle walk with a family seeking lower-sugar cereal, or in a virtual class teaching attendees about shopping on a budget,” said Hannaford Registered Dietitian Marilyn Mills, who was the first dietitian hired when the grocer launched the program. “During my day, shoppers will stop and seek my knowledge to support a new need, such as a change in their health and diet, or a desire to learn more about a new seasoning or cooking method. I feel like I’m giving back to my community as it grows and changes.”
Employing nearly 30,000 associates, Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford operates more than180 stores in five Northeast states: Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.