September 12, 2012

In-store dietitians

Posted by: in Things To Watch

Shoppers are looking to brands to educate them on complex topics and help them navigate their choices, perhaps no more so than in the confusing realm of nutrition. Some supermarkets have adopted nutrition-scoring systems, for instance, as we note in our food trends report. And increasingly, grocers are introducing dietitians who help customers make more informed decisions, even creating customized lists to suit individual needs.

Hy-Vee now has a registered dietitian in most of its 200-plus stores, reports The New York Times. Wegmans employs six nutritionists, while Meijer’s five nutritionists organize in-store cooking demos and educational programs, among other things. Whole Foods launched a series of Wellness Clubs last year and employs “healthy eating specialists” in some stores. Some retailers add a CSR component: Walmart works with child-hunger organization Share Our Strength on Shopping Matters, a series of store tours that guide participants to healthy choices. (Some dietitians provide similar services for a fee.)  —Will Palley

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