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Wellness Trends for the New Year

Nutritionists can encourage shoppers to use the occasion to resolve to get healthier
Grocery Shopping
Whatever “being active” means to your customer, they’re interested in how the grocery store can play a part in their healthy-lifestyle goals.

In the final installment of holiday celebrations, Dec. 31 marks the closure of a year’s highs and lows and the transition into the new and shiny next 12 months, commemorated on Jan. 1. Often accompanying this excitement is a focus on self-improvement, whether that be re-evaluation of personal priorities, making better use of time or taking care of our health.

Many Americans turn to an emphasis on weight loss to improve their health going into the new year. Now is the time that many consumers want to expand or begin a physical activity regimen via working with a personal trainer, biking to work, attending a dance class each weekend or maybe just walking the dog some mornings. Whatever “being active” means to your customer, they’re interested in how the grocery store can play a part in their healthy-lifestyle goals.

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Physical activity has short- and long-term advantages, from improved mood and better sleep to chronic disease prevention and increases in bone density. Established adult physical activity guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are 150-300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and two days per week of muscle-strengthening exercises. Fueling and recovering from these activities with the right mix of hydration, protein and carbohydrates is central to customers’ success with a new or revamped exercise routine.


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine establish fluid intake recommendations, which are approximately 11.5 cups daily for women and 15.5 cups daily for men, for all fluids combined. This amount is even higher for those who regularly exercise, particularly if they perspire heavily. This recommendation exceeds what typical Americans consume; therefore, arranging an array of smart drink options in your beverage aisle is crucial. Bottled waters, electrolyte beverages, seltzer waters, 100% juices, water enhancer packets and energy drinks can all give novice exercisers or elite athletes a potential edge before, during or after workouts. Enlist your marketing teams to create infographics for in-store hydration inspiration, and offer digital coupons for download to a shopper’s card to increase sales of better-for-you beverages. 


Protein doesn’t need much of an introduction. Often associated with muscle synthesis, protein plays a critical role in many bodily functions, including the creation and support of tissues, enzymes and hormones. Protein is also found on grocery shelves as dietary protein, most predominantly in dairy, eggs, poultry, meat, fish, legumes, nuts and seeds. Find ways to point consumers toward healthy on-the-go protein in the journey from gym to home via yogurt cups, trail mix, hard-boiled egg packs, peanut butter pouches or even prepackaged protein shakes. Consider positioning these items in a BOGO or bundle sale, or get creative with signage that displays grams of protein per serving next to images of protein-rich private label or national-brand products.

[Read more: "Exploring the Protein Boom: The Main Ingredient Dominating Grocery Shelves"]


Carbohydrates are found in many forms, from starches like bread and beans to sugars like candy and fruit. Carbohydrates are our body’s preferred source of fuel and the first macronutrient relied upon for pushing through a workout and replenishing energy stores following exercise. Nudge your customers toward carbohydrate-rich products that also promise health benefits, like canned beans, frozen berries, whole wheat breads, fresh greens or brown rice pouches. Offer recipe cards for customizable power bowls that layer various on-sale grains and vegetables available at your retailer, or cross-merchandise high-protein and nutritious carbohydrate products together for health-conscious shoppers, to increase basket size.

The final weeks of the current year and first weeks of the new year mark a unique time when consumers often embark on new wellness endeavors, including a boost to their exercise habits. Heightened attention to products in your store that can support hydration, protein and carbohydrate needs and goals can win over your shoppers. 

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