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Meijer Focusing on Diabetes Education

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Regional grocery and general merchandise retailer Meijer will be giving away thousands of diabetes education kits this weekend, as the company kicks off a month-long focus on the chronic disease that affects at least 17 million Americans.

The kits, which will be distributed at Meijer pharmacies on Sunday, include a 10-minute DVD called "Shop Smart and Take Charge of Diabetes," which tells shoppers how to navigate their grocery aisles and pharmacies to find appropriate products.

"The DVD doesn't take the place of seeing a medical advisor," Shari Steinbach, Meijer's Healthy Living Advisor, told Progressive Grocer. "It's an educational tool that stresses the role of carbohydrates and label reading."

The kits were designed in partnership with several diabetes educators, as well as suppliers such as Kraft Foods and Campbell Soup, noted Steinbach. "Kraft designed a beautiful recipe booklet that features sample menu plans based on different calorie levels, complete with shopping lists."

Meijer ran a teaser ad in local newspapers last weekend, and is featuring a full-page ad this weekend to let shoppers know about the event. Large posters announcing the giveaway will be placed in its stores.

Meijer is limiting one kit per family, and will ask people to voluntarily sign a list after they take their kit. "We want to have their contact information on hand so that we can follow up with them in the future," said Steinbach.

Also in November, which is officially known as American Diabetes Month, Meijer will feature in-store brochures and articles on its Web site about diabetes.

-- Jenny McTaggart
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