Foodservice operators now provide more nutrition transparency with calorie counts on menus, and many retailers have created programs around giving even more guidance in their stores.
Midwest grocer Hy-Vee recently debuted its first HealthMarket store, a format that doubles down on the company’s wellness focus with a health clinic, pharmacy, sports nutrition area, hydration station, hearing center and an Orangetheory fitness center next door. A big produce section is also present.
Hy-Vee has also started up dietitian-led nutrition tours at more than 190 locations. Each week, shoppers can choose to participate for education on what offerings can help them as they navigate diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Kroger recently launched its app OptUp, which rates products based on their nutritional value and then provides recommendations. The app is part of the larger Wellness Your Way platform of the company.
Other grocers use systems like Guiding Stars, which evaluates all items based on their ingredients and gives products between one and three stars – or products get no stars if there is little nutritional value – on the signage that accompanies products at the store level.
Elizabeth Caton, brand and nutrition manager for Guiding Stars, said the system is now used across Ahold Delhaize banners Hannaford, Food Lion, Stop & Shop, Giant Martins, Giant Food and Peapod.
“We’ve been really, really fortunate to see a lot of expansion, especially just in the last year,” Caton said.
She explained the rise in interest has likely been driven by shoppers wanting to know more about their food and what is in it.
“They want to know that they’re making the right choice,” Caton said. “They’re very much into transparency, personalization, and so programs like this, I think, offer a unique opportunity for retailers to kind of hit on some of those aspects of consumer wants and needs these days.”
For more insight on how consumers want information on nutrition delivered to them, check out the Aug./Sept. issue of Produce Retailer magazine.