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How Supermarket Dietitians Build Bridges to Impact Community Health


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Speaking at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics FNCE in Houston in 2013, Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, presented the topic of supermarket dietitians and their role in public health. Follow Barb on Twitter @EatSmartAZ to stay on top of the latest in retail health.

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How Supermarket Dietitians Build Bridges to Impact Community Health

  1. 1. How Supermarket Dietitians Build Bridges to Impact Community Health Barbara Ruhs MS, RDN, LDN Corporate Dietitian Bashas’ Family of Stores Phoenix, AZ @EatSmartAZ
  2. 2. DISCLOSURES Barbara Ruhs, MS, RDN, LDN • Advisor – Oldways Supermarket Dietitian Symposium • Employee – Bashas’ Family of Stores • Other – Contributing Editor, Progressive Grocer Magazine (Stagnito Media) – Contributing Editor, Environmental Nutrition (Belvoir)
  3. 3. Audience Participation FNCE 2013 – 5 Sessions Relating to the topic of Supermarkets and RDs Please identify yourself… – Supermarket Dietitians – Food Industry Dietitians – Public Relations Dietitians – Dietitians Interested in Opportunities with Supermarkets – Dietitians that like to shop 
  4. 4. Building Bridges to Impact Community Health 1.Recognize the impact of supermarkets on public health 2.Learn about the varying roles of supermarket RDs 3.Learn how RDs can work together to impact community health* *Focus: Food Industry & Research
  5. 5. Why Grocery Stores Matter: A Public Health Perspective “Grocery stores are uniquely positioned – in the sweet spot between manufacturers and consumers – to market nutritious products to increase the appeal and affordability, and perhaps de-emphasize those products that are not nutritious.” –James Marks, MD, MPH, Sr. VP and Health Group Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  6. 6. Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN 2013 We Need A New Paradigm Things I learned in my career as a (supermarket) dietitian… • Marketing products as “healthy” doesn’t work …may have a negative influence on purchases… • Perceive “healthy” as tasteless and expensive. • Food industry partners can be part of the solution Twitter @EatSmartAZ
  7. 7. Another Reason We Need a New Paradigm
  8. 8. Healthcare vs. Retail • How many of you visit or talk to your MD more than 2 x per year? • 21 million viewers • Safeway • Kroger • Wal-Mart 44 million shoppers per week 68 million shoppers per week 150 million shopper per week This is the power of retail…
  9. 9. The Power of Retail Supermarkets Real Estate - 32,000 U.S. supermarkets –Nielsen, 2011 Routine - 2.2 average visits to grocery store/wk– FMI, 2012 Relationships: Location is ranked #1, Time, 2102 Rewards: Price and loyalty promotions influence shoppers. -Dietitians Pay Off For Supermarkets (New York Times – Aug. 2012)
  10. 10. The Power of Retail: Food Industry Leveraging the Power of Food Industry Partnerships & Collaboration Big Food, Big Data, Big Impact • Shopper Analytics, Insights…Research! – Nielsen, Spins, Spire, Catalina, custom loyalty promotions Ethical Concerns Need to Be Addressed
  11. 11. Example: Big Food (Ag), Big Data, Ethical Research Collaboration • Influencing Milk Purchase Behavior in Hispanics – – – – – The Food Trust Bashas’ Family of Stores Arizona State University Catalina Marketing The American Heart Association • 100% Vegetable Oil vs. Soybean Oil -United Soybean Board -Nutrition at shelf edge, in-store radio, coupons, demos
  12. 12. The NEW Trusted Health Voice in Retail Corporate Dietitian -Nutrition Expert Advisor -Strategic Initiatives -Nutrition Labeling -Spokesperson -Marketing & Advertising -Research Projects -Food Industry Partnerships Store-Based Customer Service -One-on-One -Food Demos -Employee Wellness -Community Links
  13. 13. Oldways Supermarket Dietitian Symposium Retailer Participants: • Bashas’ Family of Stores • Giant Eagle • Price Chopper • Wegman’s • Marsh’s (Nash Finch) • Kowalski’s • Byerly’s • Weis Markets • Whole Foods • Hy-Vee • Meijer • H-E-B • United Texas • Safeway • Kroger • King Soopers • Albertson’s • Balls Foods (Hen House) • Fresh Direct •Food for Less •K-VA-T • Save Mart • Festival Foods • Lowes Foods • Ingle’s Markets • Big Y • ShopRite • Sobeys (Canada)
  14. 14. Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN 2013 Impact Sales & Public Health 1. Weekly AD Promotions & Education 2. Nutrition Education Newsletters 3. Merchandising Displays for Health 4. Demo-Sampling & Culinary Education 5. In-Store Radio Marketing 6. Store Tours & Counseling & Events 7. Nutrition Labeling & POP Shelf Tags 8. Media Appearances 9. Community Events 10. Social Media 11. Research Collaboration 12. Oversee Dietetic Interns Twitter @EatSmartAZ
  15. 15. Desirable Skills To Be A Supermarket Dietitian •Advanced Practice Dietitian (5 + years) • Experience in Public Health • Strong Clinical Nutrition & Counseling Skills • Media Savvy and Social Media Know-How •Business Skills, Food Industry Experience, Strong Ethics! • Entrepreneurial & Trouble-shooter • Public Relations Background – Marketing, Advertising • Food, Culinary, and Food Safety Expertise • Diplomatic and Strategic-Thinking
  16. 16. How Supermarket RDs Can Help Bridge Gaps in Community Health
  17. 17. Practice Applications…Bridging Gaps For All Dietitians • Reconsider the role of the supermarkets and the food industry’s role in impacting community health (“How Junk Food Can End Obesity – Atlantic Monthly, July/August 2013”) For all RDs in Food Industry • Seek to engage RDs in retail and community to guide product development, marketing and address ethical concerns. For All Supermarket RDs: • Measure and share results to have greater impact – enlist support of research institutions
  18. 18. Building Bridges to Impact Community Health
  19. 19. Thank you! Barbara Ruhs, MS, RDN, LDN Corporate Dietitian Bashas’ Family of Stores Phoenix, AZ E-mail: @EatSmartAZ