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FMI Reveals Grocery Shoppers' New Wellness Expectations

Report explores the broader definition of the term 'well-being' as whole health becomes a priority
Photograph: Shutterstock

Retailers can further engage their health-conscious shoppers by responding to their evolving expectations of wellness, a new report from Food Marketing Institute says.

FMI's 2019 Power of Health and Well-Being in Food Retail report explores the broader definition of the term "well-being" as retailers continue to act as wellness partners for shoppers. Sue Borra, FMI chief health and wellness officer and executive director of the FMI Foundation, said the overall topic of health and wellness is expanding into "health and well-being," the latter encompassing aspects such as "emotional health, energy levels and sleep behaviors.”

“At FMI, health and well-being is a core competency and practice that influences the very fiber of our programsfrom mining consumer insights across all areas of the store and online to strategizing about shopper expectations from retail," she said, adding that the study "tells a dynamic story of how food retailers are meeting consumer desires for taste and enjoyment, discovery and mindful connection.”

Highlights include a compilation of consumer insights from relevant 2018 reports, including:

  1. Consumers have new wellness expectations from food retailers. This represents an opportunity for retailers to further advance their efforts to engage shoppers.
  2. Consumers broadly eye food as “medicine” to boost health. However, the details play out differently by consumer demographics, including with different generations.
  3. Consumers believe in the health and social benefits of eating meals at home with family.
  4. Shoppers exhibit strong opinions about food labels, health and transparency.
  5. Consumers are increasing their requirements for transparency, both for ingredients within packages and information about sourcing, animal welfare and other factors that go beyond ingredients.
  6. Consumers trust guidance from retail dietitians and other health professionals.
  7. Consumer feedback indicates that retailers have a big role to play in advancing total-store wellness strategies, both in brick-and-mortar and online.
  8. Retailers recognize the crucial importance of health and wellness to their businesses, but there is more they can do, including digging deeper into consumers’ unmet needs and getting an early handle on the behaviors of younger generations.
  9. Retailers should pursue total store wellness strategies, advancing consumer education, embracing local marketing, building health partnerships and further enhancing consumer trust.

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