Most Grocers See H&W as Growth Opportunity: FMI

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Most Grocers See H&W as Growth Opportunity: FMI


According to a recent survey from Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute (FMI), 81 percent of food retailers view supermarket health-and-wellness programs as a significant business growth opportunity for the entire industry going forward, up from 70 percent in 2014.

A new report based on the survey, “Retailer Contributions to Health & Wellness,” noted the following additional findings:

  • 72 percent of respondents consider health and wellness a significant growth opportunity for their own store brand.
  • 89 percent of food retailers have launched health-and-wellness programs for customers, employees or both, and 96 percent are committed to expanding such programs in their stores.
  • In 2014, the survey revealed two main leadership teams responsible for health-and-wellness initiatives – pharmacy (59 percent) and nutrition (50 percent) – but now there’s an entire category of health-and-wellness managers, with 71 percent of these focused experts guiding the decision process as to how programs are established and operationalized. There’s also commitment at the highest level of the companies (46 percent noted that their president and CEO share responsibility for the programs).
  • In more than 50 percent of stores, product sampling (86 percent), healthy recipes (86 percent) and better-for-you-products (86 percent) ranked highest, with smartphone apps and text programs for creating grocery lists coming in at 68 percent.

The survey was conducted among FMI domestic food retail members from January through April 2017. Thirty-six food retail companies across the United States took part.

“In supporting a consumer’s desire for a greater connection through food and having access to resources that make shopping informative and convenient, food retailers are creating winning health-and-wellness strategies,” noted Susan Borra, chief health and wellness officer for FMI and executive director of the FMI Foundation, in the Voice of Food Retail blog. “These business approaches are in turn influencing brands’ outward communications tactics and personalizing their messaging. The analysis identified that the more customizable the tactic, the greater the perception of effectiveness. For instance, social media is pervasively used, at 93 percent, but has an effectiveness score of 6.95 out of 10, compared to the 52 percent of businesses employing in-store store dietitians, with an effectiveness rating of 9.”