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Are You Catering To The Wellness Shopper?


by Dave Wendland / VP, Strategic Relations, Hamacher Resource Group

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.

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?

Dave Wendland is vice president of strategic relations at Waukesha, Wisconsin-based Hamacher Resource Group. HRG is in the details of retail, working with product manufacturers, distributors, retailers, technology partners and other industry organizations to provide data and analysis, shopper experience, brand development, fixture coordination and retail communications solutions.

  • The Shopper Journey: Health and Wellness is the first in a three-part webinar series presented by the Hamacher Resource Group and hosted by the National Grocers Association.

Consumers are increasingly concerned with being healthy, and at the grocery store, health and wellness means more than food and nutrition. Often built around an in-store pharmacy, health and wellness at the supermarket can include over-the-counter remedies, vitamins, nutritional supplements and other products designed to enhance body and mind. This webinar, presented by Dave Wendland, HRG’s VP of strategic relations, will explore expectations, decision drivers and category preferences through the eyes of shoppers focused on wellness and selfcare, offering insights on how independent grocers can capture more category sales.

The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at 2 p.m. EST – register HERE

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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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