Are You Catering to the Wellness Shopper?

August 30, 2022By Views

By Dave Wendland, vice president, strategic relations, as seen on National Grocers Association website.

What does wellness mean to you?

I like this definition from the McKinley Health Center of the University of Illinois:

“Wellness is a state of optimal well-being that is oriented toward maximizing an individual’s potential.”

If we then consider the definition of self-care, according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education, self-care represents “decisions and actions that individuals as patients and caregivers take to promote wellness, prevent disease, treat minor ailments and manage health conditions.”

This underscores the need to position your retail operation as a destination for those endeavoring to stay healthy, recover from an illness, manage a chronic condition or provide care for a loved one.

Make no mistake, wellness is where it’s at and where it will remain for years to come. Retailers who reposition themselves as providers of “well care” rather than “sick care” can build a loyal customer base that will stick with them for the duration. And total wellness encompasses over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements, healthy food choices, and comprehensive service offerings.fruits and vegetables

Independent grocers have the advantage of positioning themselves as wellness centers. Already known for your exemplary service, your community focus can differentiate your store because you have a personal relationship and well-earned loyalty already established with your customers. You also have more flexibility in developing destinations within your store that can include a cross-merchandised section of a variety of categories that offer a total beauty, wellness and healthy food solution for shoppers.

Wegmans, a northeastern U.S. regional supermarket chain with 81 stores, and Giant Eagle, a supermarket operation with nearly 400 locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Maryland and West Virginia, have both created innovative programs centered around health and wellness. Wegmans’ Eat Well Live Well program and Giant Eagle’s health and wellness offerings can provide ideas. Giant Eagle and Iowa-based Hy-Vee are examples of operators that offer dietitian services at certain locations, including nutrition and weight-loss classes as well as guided shopping tours. Wegmans’ Eat Well Live Well program centers on four pillars that include nutrition guidance as well as active lifestyle suggestions.

Grocers are a logical retailer to position themselves as wellness centers. What steps can you take to position your store as a wellness resource?