The purpose of National Nutrition Month is to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of good nutrition and position registered dietitians as the authorities in nutrition. While the majority of dietitians work in the treatment and prevention of disease at hospitals, private practices, or other healthcare facilities, a growing number are working for grocery retailers. In fact, there are more RDs working at supermarkets now than ever before.
Grocery retailers play an obvious role in the health and wellness of their shoppers since they sell food and at an increasing number of supermarkets, there are pharmacies. Most shoppers (55%) now see their grocery store as an ally in their pursuit of health, according to a 2018 Food Marketing Institute (FMI) report. Perhaps this is due to the investments that food retailers are making after identifying supermarket health and wellness programs as a significant business growth opportunity.
In another FMI report in 2017, 89% of food retailers said they have established health and wellness programs for customers, employees or both, and 96% are committed to expanding programs in their stores. In the same report, 75% of stores said that their pharmacists and dietitians are collaborating by referring customers to each other and 58% are working together to develop programs. The rise in dietitian employment at supermarkets suggests that retailers see value in the services they provide customers.
Dietitians can help inform and inspire shoppers and offer convenient, personalized meal and snack solutions that encourage sales and customer loyalty. Some examples of interactions you could have with a retail dietitian include guided store tours, wellness and weight management programs, healthful food or recipe sampling, cooking demonstrations and classes, health screenings, and nutrition counseling.
Retail dietitians enhance the value of Guiding Stars for our store partners. They help bring our program to life for customers and employees by introducing and explaining the program as a tool to help guide grocery shopping. They use Guiding Stars as they offer nutrition recommendations and guidance to shoppers.
Be sure to check if your local supermarket has a dietitian on staff and take advantage of their likely free dietary advice. They can provide you with real-life solutions in the form of recipes, grab-and-go options and nutritional recommendations. These services benefit customers and retailers, so utilize them!
Tip: Our partner dietitians encourage shoppers to choose recipes from the Guiding Stars database and check the star-rating of their favorite brands online.