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Harmons helps consumers find ‘Healthy Living Solutions’

BY Alaric DeArment

One chain that exemplifies experimentation and innovation in health-and-wellness programs is Harmons, which operates 13 stores in the Salt Lake City area.

In 1999, the family-owned company unveiled Healthy Living Solutions. Originally a store-within-a-store concept, the department featured natural and organic products, with the pharmacy manager in charge of the department.

As business grew, the products sold in the department were dispersed throughout the store and given a Healthy Living Solutions tag, though a small handful of stores still operate the concept as a separate department. Today, customers in most stores can go to any aisle and find both traditional products and natural and organic products.

“We think a lot of the people who are interested in quality and freshness are also interested in health and wellness,” Harmons director of pharmacy Greg Jones said. “We think a health-and-wellness solution needs to tie the pharmacy and produce department and meat department.”

In two months, the chain will open a new store that will be the first to have a full-time dietitian who will operate in an office next to the pharmacy. “It’s worked in other parts of the country, and we think the time is right for the Utah market,” Jones said. Harmons also offers in-store immunizations and has dabbled in medication therapy management.

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Hannaford earns gold stars for its health-and-wellness programs

BY Antoinette Alexander

Hannaford has been an innovator in the drive to bridge food and pharmacy. The chain’s dedication to health and wellness really gained attention in 2006 when it implemented Guiding Stars, the first storewide nutrition navigation system in the United States.

The star-rating system rates food products and prepared meals, and has become the model for the rest of Delhaize’s banners. Now it is featured on shelf tags and on in-store communication at the Hannaford, Food Lion, Bloom and Sweetbay banners. As of the end of 2009, there were more than 16,500 food products that were “starred.”

Another key innovation, MyHannaford.com, enables shoppers to make up to 10 personalized shopping lists, set preferences by dietary restrictions and access their shopping list from their smart phones.

The grocer also offers free nutrition classes across New England, covering such topics as “eating for healthy blood sugars” and “prenatal nutrition.” Registered dietitians lead the classes.
In addition to offering such pharmacy services as free blood-pressure checks and free flavoring of liquid medications, the grocery continues to offer its Healthy Saver Plus program to help patients save money on prescriptions, vision care, hearing aids and diabetic supplies.

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Ahold gases up sales with health initiatives, Rx-fuel reward points

BY Alaric DeArment

One supermarket operator is literally driving customers to its pharmacies.

Customers at Royal Ahold’s Giant-Landover stores can earn one Gas Rewards point for every dollar spent on purchases in Giant pharmacies in Maryland, most of Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C. With the program, for example, a $20 pharmaceutical co-pay earns 20 points and a $50 pharmacy purchase earns 50 points. For every 100 Gas Rewards points earned, shoppers save 10 cents off every gallon of gas bought at Giant and participating Shell gas stations.

Ahold chains also offer a number of health-and-wellness programs. In September 2010, Giant-Carlisle and Martin’s Food Markets launched Passport to Nutrition, a Web-based program designed to educate children, parents and teachers on nutrition and healthy lifestyles, including lessons that cover the food pyramid and physical activity, food labels and portion control and how to eat a balanced diet.

Giant-Landover is supporting the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington’s “Physical, Healthy & Driven” program, designed to help children integrate physical fitness and healthy eating into their daily routines. The YMCA will take its PHD on the Move mobile playground to several Giant-Landover locations. The two also are creating a Healthy Snack campaign to educate families about the risks of snacking.

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