Definition of ‘well-being’ expanding at retail

The Food Marketing Institute's report probes broader definition of well-being

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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has pre-released its 2019 “Power of Health and Well-being in Food Retail,” in which consumers discuss what wellness means to them and their expectations of grocery stores. The Arlington, Va.-based trade organization’s publication probes the broader definition of “well-being” at a time when food retailers are increasingly considered allies in their shoppers’ quests for health.

According to Sue Borra, FMI chief health and wellness officer and executive director of the FMI Foundation, “Wellness is still a highly relevant term for our industry, but well-being has a broader definition, including aspects such as emotional health, energy levels and sleep behaviors.”

Highlights of the research include the following insights:

  1. Consumers have new wellness expectations from food retailers, creating an opportunity for retailers to further advance their efforts to engage shoppers.
  2. Consumers broadly regard food as “medicine” to boost health, but the details are different for the various consumer demographics, including among the generations.
  3. Consumers believe in the health and social benefits of eating meals at home with family members.
  4. Shoppers have strong opinions about food labels, health and transparency.
  5. Consumers are raising their requirements for transparency, both for packaged items and for information about sourcing, animal welfare and other factors beyond ingredients.
  6. Consumers trust guidance from retail dietitians and other health professionals.
  7. Consumer feedback shows that retailers have a major role to play in promoting total-store wellness strategies, both in physical stores and online.
  8. Retailers recognize the crucial importance of health and wellness to their businesses, but there is more they can do, such as delving deeper into consumers’ unmet needs and gaining insight into the behaviors of younger generations.
  9. Retailers should adopt total store wellness strategies, advancing consumer education, embracing local marketing, building health partnerships and otherwise boosting consumer trust.

A version of this article appeared on ProgressiveGrocer.com