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Shaw’s rolls out Nutrition iQ program in its stores

BY Allison Cerra

WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Supervalu banner Shaw’s has implemented the Nutrition iQ program in its stores.

The Nutrition iQ program, which was developed and implemented in collaboration with dietitians from Joslin Clinic, features color-coded icons on shelf tags and signs that serve as at-a-glance cues to help shoppers identify and find healthy food options. The program arrives in stores this week and will be accompanied by an advertising and promotions campaign to educate consumers.

Shaw’s also will help shoppers get the most out of the Nutrition iQ program by providing weekly guidance and tips on the Shaw’s Facebook page, including a video grocery tour, events and new recipe ideas. In addition, Shaw’s will host a Facebook chat with the retailer’s registered dietitian Jennifer Shea on Thursday, July 28 at 4 p.m. to help shoppers learn how to fill their carriage with the right colors to meet their nutrient needs.

“At Shaw’s, we know our shoppers are looking for trustworthy information about the foods they buy,” Shea said. “Our goal is to make healthy eating enjoyable. Nutrition iQ takes the guesswork out of shopping for nutritious food choices and helps people choose foods that follow the USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines. By highlighting the nutrition attributes and health benefits, we can help consumers understand how nutritional factors influence their diet so they know what to buy to give them a better chance of realizing success in managing their health.”

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BTS shoppers plan to use Web-enabled smartphones, social networks to save this year

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Inflation-related concerns will prompt back-to-school shoppers to utilize certain shopping tactics, including smartphone and social network use, to save this year.

According to a back-to-school survey conducted by Deloitte, 86% of households reported that they expect to spend the same or more on back-to-school items this year, while 7-out-of-10 respondents cited higher food prices (72%) and higher energy prices (70%) as reasons they may scale back spending this season, followed by about half (51%) who credit the lack of improvement in the job market to their anticipated restricted spending. Among those surveyed, 65% said that low prices are the most important retailer attribute when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

In terms of how shoppers will plan on saving big this year, nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents that own Web-enabled smartphones plan to use them for back-to-school shopping, while 3-out-of-5 (61%) will use them to get price information. Additionally, more than 2-out-of-5 (43%) will download discounts, coupons or sale information to their smartphones.

Deloitte also found that social networks will play a greater role in back-to-school shopping this year, with 35% of parents planning to use social networking sites to assist in their back-to-school shopping, up from 29% last year. Among these respondents, nearly 7-out-of-10 (69%) plan to use social networks to find out about promotions, while 44% plan to visit social networking sites to browse products and 28% will log on to read reviews and recommendations.

“Retailers need to be prepared for a consumer who is sensitive to prices, especially with the pinch households are feeling from higher gas and energy costs this summer,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman of Deloitte and the company’s retail and distribution sector leader. “Retailers should monitor customers’ reactions closely to recognize where they are flexible, and where promotions are necessary to drive traffic and generate purchases of higher margin products in the store.”

Ways that parents are planning on saving even more money include only buying essentials, reusing last year’s items and consolidating trips to save gas (55%, 26% and 28%, respectively).

“Price-conscious and/or time-constrained consumers are navigating virtual and physical storefronts to get the information they want quickly and easily,” Paul said. “Retailers need to respond with an integrated experience. In short, they must unite the store with their online and mobile channels to enable consumers to easily access product availability, promotions and information."

"Retailers can also increase personalization through digital touch points," Paul added. "One example of this is to create targeted mobile advertisements that engage parents and students with advice and merchandise specifically relevant to their shopping preferences to help retailers increase engagement, conversion and loyalty this season.”

Some consumers earning higher incomes, however, showed more confidence in their own finances and were less inclined to alter their back to school shopping this season: 82% among respondents earning $100,000 or more said their financial situation is the same or better than last year, compared with two-thirds 66% of respondents earning less than $100,000.

The Deloitte survey was conducted between July 5 and July 11, and polled 1,000 parents of school-aged children in grades kindergarten through 12.

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FMI names Heather Garlich director of media, public relations

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute on Wednesday named Heather Garlich as the association’s director of media and public relations. She will be responsible for managing communications outreach and information activities related to FMI’s strategic goals, including government relations, food safety, conferences and events, and industry relations.

“We are pleased to welcome Heather to the FMI communications team,” FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin said. “Her wealth of experience in consumer, trade and government communications, coupled with her skills in media relations, will most decidedly enrich FMI’s presence as the voice of the food retail community.”

Prior to joining FMI, Garlich spent nearly four years at Porter Novelli Public Services in the food and nutrition practice. At the firm, she held management roles on numerous clients, such as Welch’s, Almond Board of California and Pharmavite, developing business plans related to nutrition policy, food science and current trends. Garlich’s experience spans multiple communications platforms, including stakeholder relations, traditional press and digital media strategies.

In addition, Garlich’s history includes trade associations, as she previously served as the manager for member communications at the Grocery Manufacturing Association and was an integral part of the 2006 merger of GMA and the Food Products Association. Garlich holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a journalism concentration from the University of Delaware.

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