I recently attended the 2nd Annual Supermarket Dietitian Symposium in Savannah, Ga., sponsored by the Oldways Preservation Trust. This event gives us dietitians a chance to meet industry representatives for three days of networking and the opportunity to share best practices and discuss ways to truly improve public health through effective consumer communications.
One of the initial keynote addresses really caught my attention. The title, Cultivating Healthy Food Traditions, set the stage for this year’s gathering, because referred to the efforts supermarket nutritionists are making every day. We all came away revitalized with messages that varied from trends to marketing to business sense, with a focus on new products and wellness. Some of the takeaways were:
- Social media has changed the speed of information delivery. Coupons, nutrition information and misinformation are a click away and even mobile. Get with it, team with someone who can, or get out of the way!
- What was old is new again — and even trendy. Basic foods and simple ingredients rule.
- Interpretations are evolving. Processed foods don’t always mean “bad.” They can have nutrition, convenience and value, including canned foods, dried fruit, yogurt and fermented foods. “Health” has evolved into a focus on quality of life!
- Fun, authenticity or being “real” and sustainability need to be considered in our messages, as we provide our customers with experiences that bring them closer to their nutrition goals.
The keynote, and all the events at the symposium this year, gave us supermarket dietitians a new sense of purpose. We’re refreshed, revitalized and more than ready to meet the challenges of our customers… So watch out!
[Photo credit: langleyo]