Hannaford provides guiding star to health
Hannaford’s commitment to health and wellness made headlines back in 2006 when it implemented the innovative Guiding Stars system — the first storewide nutrition navigation system in the United States. Now, five years later, the company’s dedication to healthy living remains strong.
Since the program’s launch, more fresh items and private-brand foods have been added to the system. As of the end of 2009, there were more than 16,500 products that were “starred.” The star-rating system rates food products and prepared meals, and is now featured on shelf tags and in-store communication at the Hannaford, Food Lion, Bloom and Sweetbay banners. Through licensing, Hannaford introduced Guiding Stars to universities in New Hampshire and Maine and to a public school system in Maine where it used it to star-rate prepared meals.
The retailer also is leveraging technology to help shoppers live healthier lives. By visiting MyHannaford.com, shoppers can make up to 10 personalized shopping lists, access their shopping list from their smartphone and set preferences for dietary restrictions.
The grocer also offers free nutrition classes across New England, covering such topics as eating for healthy blood sugars and prenatal nutrition. Registered dietitians lead the classes, and free samples are given out at every class.
Furthermore, in early 2010, Hannaford, which is owned by Belgium-based Delhaize Group, became the first grocer in the United States to introduce the ”Keep Local Farms” initiative at all of its stores. The program is designed to assist fundraising for local dairy farmers and to ensure a local fresh supply of milk.
Meanwhile, in addition to offering such pharmacy services as free blood-pressure checks and free flavoring of liquid medications, the grocery continues to offer its Healthy Saver Plus program to help patients save money on prescriptions, vision care, hearing aids, certain diabetic supplies and more.
Brookshire Rx offers competitive pricing
The brand-new Fresh Health Prescription Plan from Brookshire Grocery was rolled out on March 10. It’s a comprehensive prescription plan that shoppers in the chain’s new Fresh by Brookshire’s store, which opened in March 2010, can purchase for a $10 membership fee.
“The program covers generic and brand prescriptions at very competitive pricing compared to what they’d pay with insurance and third-party plans,” said Jim Cousineau, Brookshire SVP pharmacy operations.
“It’s for shoppers who don’t have insurance or third-party plans. We thought the Fresh banner gave us the opportunity to market and test this with a little bit different clientele, and then determine whether or not this is something we could expand to our other banners,” Cousineau said.
Also at this 55,000-sq.-ft. store is an in-depth nutritional center. The goal, Cousineau explained, is to fuse the pharmacy, grocery and nutritional center as a combined health-and-wellness initiative.
In 2009, Brookshire started offering a wider selection of health-and-beauty products and established sections devoted to diabetes, sleep and therapeutic aids and supplies in a remodeled Super 1 Foods store in Lafayette, La.
The program’s success has been average, Cousineau said. However, components of the program were expanded to another store, in Denton, Texas, where it seems to be doing better, “so we may be able to have a better barometer based on this store,” he explained. If it continues to go well, the program may be extended, though he added, “I don’t know that we ever see it as a real bastion of business for us.”
What has been a success from day one are diagnostic services in four of Brookshire’s stores. These include such screenings as blood glucose and body mass index. That program is being expanded, as is an immunization program that has recently grown to cover travel vaccines and other offerings, such as the pneumococcal vaccine.
Brookshire also has a free antibiotic program and discounted generics program.
Hy-Vee finds niche in Rx, healthy eating
The typical first-time customer walking into a Hy-Vee store will probably see it as a supermarket, but what makes Hy-Vee stick out is its strong emphasis on pharmacy programs and health and wellness.
In December 2010, the chain announced it would become one of a number of retailers to participate in Pharmacy Saver, a new program offered in collaboration with UnitedHealthcare, the country’s largest Medicare Part D insurer. The program offers 366 commonly prescribed generic drugs to select Medicare beneficiaries for as little as $2 and is offered on top of Hy-Vee’s generic discount program, which offers generic prescriptions for $4 for 30-day supplies and $10 for 90-day supplies.
Pharmacy Saver adds to Hy-Vee’s growing list of pharmacy offerings, including the chain’s partnership with Omaha, Neb.-based specialty pharmacy provider Amber Pharmacy to provide services that also would take advantage of Hy-Vee’s diet and nutrition programs. The partnership, officially a joint venture with Amber called Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions, also has its headquarters in Omaha and offers phone service, personal care coordinators and the option of having specialty medications made available for pickup at a Hy-Vee pharmacy or delivered to a patient’s home, office or other location.
Healthy eating is another area where Hy-Vee has staked out a niche for itself. It marked February as American Heart Month with a special advertising circular that contained nutrition information, shopping tips and heart-healthy recipes from Hy-Vee chefs, created in coordination with the chain’s 150 retail dietitians. The chain also began experimenting with a healthy checkstand assortment it calls “Blue Zone Lanes” (see page 86).
Hy-Vee’s efforts have won it recognition from the Food Marketing Institute, which awarded the chain one of its 2010 Maximizing People Potential awards at the FMI Human Resources/Training Development Conference in Baltimore in October in recognition for its healthy lifestyle program, which encourages employees to manage their health and rewards them for active participation.