Medical clinics, screenings and traveling health and wellness buses aside, some retailers are expanding their offerings further.
“Everything we see suggests that we're on the cusp of a lot more patient counseling by pharmacists,” said Bill Bishop, chairman of consulting firm Willard Bishop, Barrington, Ill. “The big news here is that the pharmacists will be paid for this counseling by Medicare or other sources.”
The medication therapy management concept will likely be a big revenue opportunity for food retailers, he predicted.
Don Stuart, managing director, Cannondale Associates, Wilton, Conn., sees certain preventative products as the next big thing.
“It's not just about products that get you well once you're sick. The hot items are all about preventing you from getting sick in the first place,” Stuart told SN. “Probiotics with active bacteria are popular. Weight loss products like Alli are also big sellers since controlling obesity is such a big part of health and wellness.”
Health and wellness will continue to impact not only what retailers carry, but what they do not, noted Ted Taft, managing director, Meridian Consulting, Westport, Conn. Health and wellness is behind the decision of Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester, N.Y., and several other retailers to no longer carry tobacco products, he said.
Bi-Lo, Mauldin, S.C., has paid close attention to other retailers' approaches to health and wellness in recent years, said Terry Cerwick, senior category manager of nonfood and pharmacy. He has recognized a few trends that supermarkets could adopt.
“I have seen more focus on healthy living in [drug and mass retailers'] ads with reference to the vitamins category, healthy drinks and snacks,” he said. “They have also done extensive promotions of diet options for overall health improvement.”
In the future, he expects to see more of a focus on overall weight management. Support for consumers wanting to live longer, healthier lives will also be prominent across channels, Cerwick added.