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Four crucial wellness questions for supermarkets

Four crucial wellness questions for supermarkets

Supermarkets are making big advances in health and wellness but haven’t figured it all out.

Natural Products Expo East, which runs Sept. 17-20 in Baltimore, is a good place to make progress.

That’s because Expo’s exhibition and educational sessions bring together important insights for retailers. Moreover, SN will hold a half-day educational event there on the morning of the 17th. Our event will help answer a number of timely questions related to supermarkets and wellness. Here are four I would especially point to:

1-What do shoppers think about supermarket performance?

I’ll give you a hint: The news isn’t all good. Shoppers are sometimes quite critical of how supermarkets execute on wellness strategies, pointing to high prices and associates who aren’t always knowledgeable about products, according to a newly released SN consumer survey. Shoppers are trying to step up their own health behaviors and they expect stores to do the same. At SN’s event this week, Phil Lempert,  The Supermarket Guru and contributing editor for SN, will present the results of this survey, which he conducted for SN Whole Health.

2-What’s hot at retail and what’s next?

Wellness trends would be a lot easier to understand if they weren’t moving so quickly. Retailers need to react fast because emerging categories can peak and wane in a short period of time. To help supermarkets respond, SN’s event will include a presentation that showcases the trajectory of trends ranging from protein to special diets, using proprietary tools. The focus will be on the current status of these trends and where things are headed. Speakers include those from FoodEssentials and New Hope Natural Media.

3-How can wellness strategies help transform a supermarket retailer?

Many retailers are trying to figure out whether merchandising healthy products and services  can make a significant and sustained difference in their businesses.

There are some good case studies to point to, and one of the best is Wakefern Food Corp., the winner of SN’s 2014 Whole Health Enterprise Award. That wholesaler and its member retailers have infused wellness strategies into their operations using their knowledge of local shoppers. Attendees at SN’s event will see a Wakefern executive accept the award and a follow-up panel spotlight the company’s achievements.

4-What are the latest opportunities for natural and organic brands at supermarkets?

Small- to medium-sized brands have a lot to learn about working with supermarkets. It’s a lot different than supplying natural food stores. In fact, terms like partnership and collaboration have very specific meanings in the supermarket space. SN’s event will include a session in which distribution and brokerage executives will explain the supermarket retail territory to brands.

Expo East is actually produced by SN’s parent company, Penton. I encourage you to attend SN’s event and stay over for Expo East. We’ll be reporting the news from Baltimore in the coming days so stay tuned.

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