Wegmans to open new store concept
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wegmans Food Markets is expanding its footprint with a new concept.
In a first for the 101-year-old grocer, Wegmans said it will open a two-level store, at Natick Mall, Natick, Mass., with direct access to the shopping center. The 134,000-sq.-ft. store will be located in a building that formerly housed one of the mall's anchors, J.C. Penney.
The new Wegmans, scheduled to open in spring 2018, will devote 12,500 sq. ft. on the second floor to two restaurant concepts. The grocer is seeking a complementary tenant for the 45,000-sq.-ft. third floor of the building.
The family-owned Wegmans operates 93-supermarkets across New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The Natick location will be Wegman's sixth location in Massachusetts. It is scheduled to open a store in Medford, Mass., at the beginning of November.
Health-and-wellness assortment for new, expecting moms grows
In the healthcare space, it’s a long-held tenet that female heads of household, aka moms, are the primary purchasers of the OTC remedies and balms that cure ailments. So, why not capture her loyalty from the beginning — or even before the beginning?
One of the category opportunities that Drug Store News has seen emerge in the past year is fertility, with products that support the health and wellness of mom — before and during her pregnancy. For first-time mothers, this can be a period of intense research and exploration around which products are available to help her along her journey. For suppliers and retailers, it’s an opportunity to lock in what could become a very loyal consumer.
“Capturing a new mom is extremely valuable, as it gives you the opportunity to provide the entire household with products if the mom trusts your brand,” said Dan Aziz, president of Luna Pharmaceuticals. “New moms are open to trying new brands and switching brand loyalty. For us, we have the opportunity to capture this customer for a 24-month period (before, during and after pregnancy) and have her buy several of our products in tandem, every month. [That creates] multiple trips to stores and larger baskets — which our retailers love.”
The need for proper nutrition and supplementation is profound. According to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, many healthy maternal diets have been linked to reduced risks of preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia and maternal obesity. Yet fewer than 10% of the women who participated in the study met the dietary guideline for the whole grains, fatty acids, sodium or empty calories categories.
According to Aziz, the average U.S. family spends roughly $15,000 from trying to conceive to the first year of an infant’s life. With 4.5 million pregnancies each year, that makes for a market potential of more than $52 billion.
And that market extends beyond supplement solutions to potential conception wearables. Earlier this year, Ava submitted a report to Scientific Reports stating the Ava bracelet detected the five most fertile days of a woman’s cycle. “What many women and their partners don’t realize is that a woman can only get pregnant five days before ovulation
and the day of ovulation itself,” said professor Brigitte Leeners, lead researcher from the University Hospital of Zurich. “Ava is the first technology that uses temperature, resting pulse rate and other parameters — including heart rate variability, sleep and bioimpedance — to provide a convenient and accurate at-home method to identify the beginning of the fertile window.”
The market also may extend beyond what many consider to be the ideal age for a “new mom.” Last year, Rainbow Light added the 35+ Mom & Baby prenatal multivitamin to its lineup because giving birth after 35 years of age is more common than ever — up 24% in the past 30 years, according to the company. Taking into account the unique health requirements of moms older than 35 years of age, Rainbow Light formulated a supplement to support an older new mom’s healthy blood-sugar levels while promoting circulation.
Supermarket Wellness Watch: From Kroger to Hannaford, retailers embrace family meals efforts
You are what you eat. Or is it who you eat with?
Well, it turns out both matter!
The food retail industry is about to enter the third year of the September National Family Meals Month program. So as a curtain raiser, it’s a good time to assess the diverse retailer efforts of last year – from Kroger and The Little Clinic to Hannaford — and take a peek at a couple of upcoming initiatives
But first, what is National Family Meals Month, and given this is a blog about supermarket wellness, how does this program tie in?
This campaign, sponsored by Food Marketing Institute Foundation, aims to “bring families back to the table and share one more meal at home per week.” It involves retailers, suppliers and community partners and takes a broad view of family to include “different shapes, sizes and forms, even your work family,” said Susan Borra, chief health and wellness officer and executive director of the FMI Foundation.
National Family Meals Month promotes social interaction, and much of the emphasis is on healthy eating. In fact, people who eat more family meals together tend to have healthier diets than other groups, said Borra, a registered dietitian.
A number of innovative retailer efforts from last year were profiled in a recently introduced best practices guide, and many of these involved health and wellness tie-ins.
Kroger presented a multi-tiered, omnichannel program, which included leveraging The Little Clinic to discuss family meals with patients and to distribute an educational booklet with recipes and tips.
The company will follow up this year with another multi-pronged approach, according to a spokesperson. The Little Clinic, which operates 220 locations, will distribute a recipe booklet to patients that encourages families to cook together and provides nutrition resources. It will also promote the event through its blog and patient e-newsletter.
Moreover, the clinic’s dietitians are hosting four wellness events focused on the meal month theme. “The dietitians will show families the value of cooking together and experimenting with healthful ingredients in the kitchen,” according to the spokesperson. Several Kroger dietitians will also be holding food and wine events.
Hannaford, part of Ahold Delhaize, last year unveiled a tie-in program called “Good Ideas for Busy Families,” which built on its existing “Guiding Stars Good Ideas” wellness initiative. The effort included in-store signage featuring family-friendly and healthful recipe ideas and special product pricing. The company developed a booklet that outlined healthy shopping tips and recipe ideas for each store department, and leveraged dietitians for nutrition demos, said Sue Till, manager of Hannaford’s Healthy Living program.
This year Hannaford will employ a wide range of strategies to support its activities, including social media, web, fresh magazine, in-store signage, coupons and its weekly flyer.
The involvement of registered dietitians was a signature aspect of retailer efforts in last year’s program. Here are a few other examples:
- Price Chopper: Dietitians and educators in some 26 stores conducted events that included taste testing and recipes.
- Wakefern Food: Dietitians engaged customers both in-store and on social media to raise the profile of the program.
- Skogen’s Festival Foods: Registered dietitians were promoted as “Mealtime Mentors” who can suggest quick meals and healthy eating ideas.
There’s a lot of room for further retailer innovation in this annual campaign, and for other retail channels to get involved. Moreover, it’s a unique way to cross-merchandise and brand the rest of a retailer’s operation and services.
It seems that retailers are hoping to make it a September to remember.
David Orgel is an award-winning business journalist, industry expert and speaker who was the longtime chief editor and content leader of Supermarket News. He is currently the principal of David Orgel Consulting, delivering strategic content and counsel to the food, retail and CPG industries. To read last month’s blog post, click here.