Grocery stores and retailers recognize in-store registered dietitians as an opportunity to help their shoppers sort through the clutter of nutrition labels and product claims, and to connect with their shoppers on a personal level. “American consumers are connecting health and wellness to their diets,” said Robert Vosburgh, group editor of Supermarket News, a weekly trade magazine for the food industry in a recent article “Meet the Supermarket Dietitian” posted on USNews.com.1
According to the USNews.com article1, among the Food Marketing Institute association’s 1,500 food retailers and wholesalers, 85 percent employ dietitians at the corporate level, half employ dietitians on a regional level, and 33 percent of all stores boast an on-site dietitian. This makes sense since the 2012 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends showed that 78% of shoppers report interest in reading nutrition labels, paying more for organic products, or looking for locally sourced products.2
As dietitians increase their roles and numbers in-store, it will be important for retailers to measure the sales of healthier items and the return on investment for the store. The USNews.com article1 refers to an uptick in sales around certain healthy promotions in Hy-Vee, and the customer loyalty associated with having a dietitian to help make your purchase decisions a little less complicated.
As health and wellness becomes more of a priority among consumers, it is valuable for the consumer to have someone in-store, explaining to them the health and nutrition benefits of the various products on the shelves as they make their purchasing decision.
1 USNews.com. “Meet the Supermarket Dietitian”. Accessed March 21, 2013: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2013/03/07/meet-the-supermarket-dietitian?page=2
2 ICN-Net.com. U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2012 Executive Summary. Accessed March 21, 2013. http://www.icn-net.com/docs/12086_FMIN_Trends2012_v5.pdf