By Jim Dudlicek / NGA Director, Communications and External Affairs
Consumers are increasingly concerned with being healthy, and at the grocery store, health and wellness means more than food and nutrition.
Often built around an in-store pharmacy, health and wellness at the supermarket can include over-the-counter remedies, vitamins, nutritional supplements and other products designed to enhance body and mind.
NGA hosted a recent webinar that explored expectations, decision drivers and category preferences through the eyes of shoppers focused on wellness and selfcare, offering insights on how independent grocers can capture more category sales. The discussion was led by Dave Wendland, vice president of strategic relations for the Hamacher Resource Group.
Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:
Consumer demand is growing. Nearly nine in 10 consumers say that selfcare is important to them. The average American spends $199 per month on nonessential items to “treat themselves” and take a more proactive role in their health care. Two-thirds of consumers want retailers to be more involved in their health care.
The why behind the buy. Though the pandemic may have brought increase attention to personal health and selfcare, consumer’s motivations behind related purchases have remained largely unchanged. Top reasons why health has become important: live longer, avoid preventable diseases, protection from diseases, want to look/feel healthier, re-evaluating lifestyle.
The self-care industry is estimated at $11 billion. It includes home care products, digital wellness apps, over-the-counter medications, health and beauty care, clean eating, and nutritional products. Top products sold address pain relief, cough/cold, allergy, chronic pain and oral care.
24/7 access. Nearly four in 10 consumers looked up health information online during the past 12 months. Twenty-six percent of consumers used a website to make an appointment, check lab results or manage prescriptions. Web apps are now used by 25% of Americans (that number is growing).
Does your store truly shout “wellness”? Focus on prevention; place a spotlight on better-for-you and wellness-boosting items. Create a communication campaign to inform, educate and guide shopper decisions. Surround products on your shelves with service offerings that coach and counsel shoppers. Solution-centric merchandising transforms traditional aisles from disconnected items to holistic solutions. Pursue partnerships beyond your store for resources, ideas and industry leadership.
How to win the wellness customer. Capitalize on increased traffic generated during the pandemic by focusing on their wellness journey. Display and market wisely to influence customers’ food choices. Change the store layout and increase access to fruits and vegetables with improved access at checkout. Employ registered dietitians (RDs) to connect food with health. Talk about the role of food in the context of medicine as food that can be used to prevent disease and promote health.
Click here to view the recording of this webinar.