Following the lead of healthcare professionals who are able to satisfy patients’ needs for on-demand access to medical care, ShopRite has launched free virtual dietitian consultations on its website via an online chat.
The service is supported by ShopRite’s team of registered dietitians and is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and allows shoppers to get advice and tips without having to leave their house.
As the first major grocery chain in the Northeast to offer free virtual dietitian consultations to the public, ShopRite’s registered dietitian virtual chat program launched in December 2019 in partnership with Hero, a service that makes it possible for online shoppers to text, chat and video call with their favorite stores.
“Ever since we launched the in-store ShopRite dietitian program nearly 14 years ago, we’ve been creating new and expanded ways to help our customers take advantage of the wealth of expertise and knowledge that our team of dietitians have to offer,” Natalie Menza-Crowe, director of health and wellness for the Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer-owned cooperative, said in a statement.
Photograph courtesy of ShopRite
Menza-Crowe—who joined ShopRite in 2005 as the company’s first corporate dietitian—said she is especially excited about the significance of the virtual chat program’s launch “because it means we can now provide all of our customers—both those that shop in our stores, as well as those that are shopping with us online—with quick, easy and simple ways to get nutritional advice from licensed health professionals at no charge when and where they need it most.”
“We think that this is a fantastic way to leverage new technologies on our website and provide additional free services to our customers,” including complimentary dietitian consultations and in-store classes and events, she added.
ShopRite’s registered dietitian chat program also extends the personalization aspects of an in-store service with the convenience of online shopping.
After accessing the service on ShopRite’s website, customers will see a pop-up box that prompts them to chat with a dietitian. If a dietitian is chatting with another customer, the shopper can leave a message, and the dietitian will respond as soon as possible.
Alistair Crane, CEO of Hero, said the messaging app is designed for in-store experts to instantly connect with online customers for guidance in a convenient, personal way. “We’re delighted to partner with ShopRite to bring the power of conversational commerce to their locations and customers,” said Crane.
ShopRite’s in-store registered dietitian program, in place since 2006, has more than 100 registered dietitians servicing over 140 ShopRite locations across the Northeast. Shoppers can tap them for information and advice about how to better understand ingredients and food labels, make healthy recipe substitutions and other insights to enable them to live healthier lifestyles. ShopRite’s in-store dietitians also provide complimentary services such as one-on-one consultations, supermarket tours, support groups, classes, kids and adult cooking classes, and in-store product samplings.