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Hy-Vee New Year

Retailers tie in to healthy resolutions

Now that the season of holiday feasting is winding down, food retailers are seeking to capitalize on consumers’ resolutions to eat healthier in the new year.

Several kicked off their 2017 social media campaigns with pitches to consumers who have their sights set on shedding holiday pounds or perhaps making renewed commitments to living healthier lifestyles. Some of those retailers are leveraging these New Year’s resolution tie-ins to kick off new healthy-eating programs or to remind consumers of existing ones.

Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets, for example, used social media to create awareness for its “Better Choice” shelf tags by tying them eat-healthy New Year’s resolutions:

And at Foodland in Hawaii, the company on Monday launched a series of seven resolutions that it was promoting via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The first — “Eat local” — included ties to the chain’s “Eat Local Tuesday” promotions, which offer discounts on locally grown produce and recipes on how to use them.

Foodland’s second resolution — “Eat more at home this year” — featured links to recipes both healthy and local.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Foodland had not disclosed resolutions No. 3-7, and a company spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

At Hy-Vee, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, the company and its stores — which each have their own social media accounts — promoted healthy eating tied to New Year’s resolutions along with teasers for Hy-Vee’s new health-oriented magazine, Balance, which becomes available Jan. 4.

Several Hy-Vee locations also posted links to healthy recipes tied to New Year’s resolutions:

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market — whose stores also have their own social media accounts — tied into the healthy New Year’s resolution trend with posts about upcoming events. The Augusta, Ga., location, for example, was among the Whole Foods stores promoting a supplement sale this weekend:

Giant Eagle’s GetGo convenience-store chain used social media to connect New Year resolutions to its GetFit health-oriented menu, which launched last January and is expanding with two new protein smoothies, effective Jan. 4, Jannah Jablonowski, a Giant Eagle spokeswoman, told SN.

“Throughout the past 12 months, the menu has gained popularity, and we have had an overall positive response from our customers,” said Jablonowski.

In addition to being promoted on GetGo’s social media channels, the GetFit menu is also being promoted in-store on overhead monitors and as the front page on ordering kiosks, she said.

Sandy Skrovan, a retail consultant based in Columbus, Ohio, said anything food retailers can do to promote tie-ins with healthy New Year’s resolutions “is an excellent idea.”

“It's becoming increasingly difficult for retailers to compete on factors like price, selection and convenience,” she told SN. “They need to bring more value-add and solutions to the table, and the ‘healthy’ promotions should resonate well with shopper expectations.”

Consumers appear to be “expanding their grocery decision set to include more values-based factors,” Skrovan explained. “They're asking questions such as, ‘Is it healthy, and how is it processed?’

“It's this type of values-oriented shopping that is propelling retailers to up their games. Using social media to create awareness and spread the word in a quick and timely manner — to coincide with New Year's resolutions — is smart marketing.”

Not all of the supermarket social media posts around New Year’s resolutions were health-oriented, however.

At least one Hy-Vee location used the occasion to tie in to resolutions about saving money, and Balducci’s — a gourmet grocer in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic — pledged to eat more cheese in 2017, promising more news about wine and cheese pairings in the coming week:

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