SAN ANTONIO — The Food Marketing Institute Health and Wellness @Retail held in conjunction with the Global Market Development Center HBW Conference kicked off this week with a mission of bringing together retail pharmacy, nutrition, marketing and merchandising professionals with manufacturers and service providers to share insights on how stores can provide a one-stop shopping experience for today’s shoppers.
The new hybrid event is being held May 29 to June 3 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country in San Antonio.
“I’m delighted that you’ve taken the time to spend the next several days with us. … I’m hoping when you leave here that some of the information that we’ve given you really helps you imagine health and wellness to the next level within your companies when you go back home,” Cathy Polley, VP, health and wellness for FMI and executive director of the FMI Foundation, told attendees. “One of our goals is really to provide you the tools and insights that you can use to enhance your existing programs and to create new programs and we hope when you leave San Antonio that you have those ideas and some great opportunities to take with you.”
The event kicked off Wednesday with an opening keynote presentation, sponsored by Cardinal Health, on “Integrating Blue Zones into Communities to Improve Health Outcomes.” During the presentation National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner discussed his findings after traveling the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity and happiness, and he identified Blue Zone areas. Blue Zones are places where people have the greatest life expectancy. He also shared how supermarkets can incorporate Blue Zone techniques into their own communities.
The keynote presentation was followed by a session titled, “The Consumer Perspective: What They Really Want From Retailers in the Health and Wellness Arena,” and an evening cocktail reception to welcome attendees.
Thursday’s events took a different turn as much of the day comprised of education breakout sessions. Sessions covered such topics as how to encourage consumer participation in health and wellness programs, leveraging technology to facilitate primary care patient outcomes and the knowledge and skills that registered dieticians need to succeed in the food retail industry.
“When you pair a dietician with a pharmacist there’s a scope of practice for both of us … We need each other and when you talk with the dietician there’s always going to be some food/drug interaction conversations. There’s going to be some medication conversations to frame up who we’re talking to as an individual [and] same with the pharmacist,” said Kim Kirchherr of the RDBA Executive Committee during the education session called “Registered Dieticians: The Success Factor for Retail Health and Wellness Programs.” “… How can we help balance each other out? … If you always think of that customer point of view it is one store they are shopping. We have to take away our retailer hats for a minute … so how do we bring that conversation together and work together and meet their needs collectively?”