Retailers need to embrace health and wellness as a total-store experience, speakers told attendees at the inaugural Supermarket News at Expo West conference in Anaheim, Calif.
“You can’t just flip a switch and be in that business,” said Stephanie Steiner, director of sales and marketing for the Market Centre Natural division of Unified Grocers, Los Angeles, in a presentation at the conference . “It’s an ongoing process of educating team members so they can pass information on to consumers.”
Another panel covered the fast-growing farmers’-market-style food retailers , who see themselves targeting customers seeking to transition to a healthier lifestyle.
“We look for the customer who’s looking for a stepping-stone to better health and who’s making the transition from the conventional to the natural world,” said Jim Nielsen, COO for Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market.
In a third panel discussion, retailers said forming partnerships with industry vendors as well as non-industry companies can help supermarket retailers strengthen their health and wellness offerings.
“It doesn’t require a huge investment to promote health and wellness,” said Margaux Drake, Living Well lifestyle expert for D&W Fresh Market, Grand Rapids, Mich. “A retailer simply needs a passionate champion who’s willing to talk to consumers.”
Supermarket News at Expo West: Driving Health and Wellness at Supermarkets was sponsored by Enjoy Life and Just Bare.
Text and captions by Elliot Zwiebach and Mark Hamstra
Photos by Michael Kitada
1. True to their niche
Jay Jacobowitz of Retail Insights, left, with Chris Sherrell of Fresh Thyme and Jim Nielsen of Sprouts. “We can’t be all things to all people,” Nielsen said. “We have to stay within our segment and refine it.”
2. Full house
Supermarket News at Expo West: Driving Health and Wellness at Supermarkets attracted more than 100 attendees.
3. Partnerships add value
John Creed of Unified Grocers said a strong health and wellness offering “allows retailers to become a destination store — to create a signature category and add personality to the store.” Margaux Drake of D&W Fresh Market said retailers can target customers who have already made the decision to pursue health and wellness by partnering with related businesses.
4. International appeal
Brian Cluster, Nielsen Co.; Edith Barajas and David Barajas, Mercado Santa Carmela, an organic market in Mexico, at a cocktail reception following the retailer panels.
5. Meijer attendees
Brian McKim and Ellen Murray, both of Meijer Inc., at a cocktail reception following the retailer panels.
6. Inaugural event
Jerry Rymont, SN publisher, makes welcome remarks at the first-ever Supermarket News at Expo West: Driving Health and Wellness at Supermarkets.
7. Making a point
David Orgel, executive director of content and user engagement, SN, kicks off the first panel discussion at the conference.
8. Total store experience
Panelists David Orgel of SN; Raymond McCall of Ahold USA; Thomas Honer of Harvest Farms IGA; and Stephanie Steiner of the Market Centre Natural division of Unified Grocers. “It’s the relationship that develops among the pharmacist, the nutritionist, the HBA department and grocery that makes for a realistic approach” to health and wellness, said McCall.<br><br><a href="http://supermarketnews.com/health-amp-wellness/gallery-trends-expo-west-... Trends from the Expo West show floor</strong></a>