Western grocer Raley's has revamped its checkout stand to cut back on sugary snacks and replace them with more wholesome options.
As part of its continual quest to help shoppers make better eating choices, the West Sacramento, Calif.-based food retailer has reduced its overall candy offerings at checkout by 25 percent, fully eliminated conventional candy and replaced it with an "enhanced selection of snack options that consider nutritional value, portion control and sugar content." Citing data from the Food and Drug Administration, Raley's noted that most Americans exceed the recommended limits for added sugar, which means placing better-for-you products in high-traffic checkstand aisles will offer customers a chance to reduce their intake of added sugar.
"We want to make it easier for our customers to make better choices for their personal health journey," said Keith Knopf, Raley's president. "We are already seeing customers respond favorably to our improved offering, which supports their ability to act on their own intentions and choose to eat well – whether they're filling their carts or grabbing a quick bite."
The new selection balances nutritional offerings and indulgence, ranging from protein-powered items and lower-calorie sweets to snacks that are low in preservatives. Receiving exposure will be new products and lesser-known brands, many of which lead the industry in sporting cleaner ingredient decks. Many of the products meet Raley's Shelf Guide standards, including items that are nutrient dense, non-GMO and vegan.
Among the new options available are health-focused bars (Kind, Clif, Tahoe Trail); smaller-packaging candy (Chocolove, Bark Thins, Justin's); chips; beef jerky; nuts (Blue Diamond); gum and mints; and alternative snacks such as seaweed, rice bars and olives. Along with the rest of the options, these options are intended to reinforce the notion that snacks and candy should be viewed as a treat.
The change is one of many Raley's has implemented in recent years to help shoppers eat better. Others include:
- Introducing the Raley's Shelf Guide standards
- Eliminating sugar-sweetened soda and reducing overall candy offerings
- Removing tobacco from stores
- Cutting artificial flavors from carbonated soft drinks
- Offering free fruit for kids to snack on while adults shop
These and other small decisions are what combine together to create Raley's transparency strategy, noted Raley's CEO Michael Teel at the 2017 TransparencyIQ event hosted by Progressive Grocer parent EnsembleIQ. Teel noted that Raley's is a purpose-driven company, and that making one decision leads to making subsequent decisions that all correspond and fall into place, ultimately helping to make a change in the marketplace.
Raley's operates 129 stores under five banners: Raley's, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods, Food Source and Market 5-One-5. The company is No. 26 on Progressive Grocer's Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.