LANDOVER, Md. (FNS) -- Giant Food has rolled out earlier this month a new consumer program chainwide that seeks to spotlight in virtually every department the importance of nutrition, healthy lifestyles and wellness.
The retailer has offered health and nutrition information for many years. But it believes the time is ripe for expanding this program to, in essence, make its stores a one-stop shop for consumers' health and well being needs that goes beyond traditional brochure handouts.
"Consumer research surveys tell us that consumers are searching for a shopping experience that supports all of their needs; they want ideas and solutions to help them take the best of care of themselves and their families, and in the appropriate place in the store," Odonna Mathews, the retailer's consumer affairs vice president, told SN.
Consequently, Mathews said Giant moved to expand the operations of its existing Wellness Centers, generally located near in-store pharmacies, tie in its nutrition information offerings and provide screenings for various health conditions.
Giant conducted what amounted to pilot programs of this concept in three stores during the past year.
Following these tests, the retailer, a division of Ahold USA, this month revamped all 176 of its stores to feature this "Healthy Ideas: Nourishing Body & Mind" program. Health, nutrition and wellness information is being provided in its produce, pharmacy, health and beauty care, deli, meats, seafood and grocery departments, as well as at a central, Healthy Ideas store kiosk and in the customer service area. Each month the program will focus on a different theme, such as heart health, cancer prevention, weigh loss and summer fitness.
In addition, each month it will issue a newsletter providing recipes and focusing on topics such as nutrition, active lifestyles and food supplements. A "Kid's Corner" will provide brochures, aimed at children from ages two through 10, offering information about vitamins and minerals, heart health, poison prevention and food shopping.
Giant will sell for $2.79 its new "Healthy Ideas Food Guide," which offers information about foods that are low or reduced in fat, cholesterol, sodium, calories, or have higher fiber content.
For several years it has offered, on a periodic basis, screenings by health professionals for various health concerns, such as blood cholesterol levels. Mathews said this will be expanded to provide screenings for conditions such as osteoporosis and skin cancer. The retailer will charge people $35 for the osteoporosis test.
The entire program was developed with the advice of Giant's consumer board and the participation of those from academia, industry and the federal government.
Mathews said Giant will spend about $2 million this year promoting the program through television, radio and in newspaper ads. It also will provide information about the program on its various Web sites (giantfood.com and supergfood.com).