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Kroger hosts 2nd Natural Foods Innovation Summit

BY Michael Johnsen

On Thursday Kroger hosted its second Natural Foods Innovation Summit, in partnership with 84.51°, in Cincinnati, Ohio, following the success of its inaugural event last October.

“Kroger’s Simple Truth, our brand of natural, organic and free-from products, has achieved $2 billion in annual sales and our organic produce sales have reached $1 billion annually since we hosted our first summit. These are just two examples of our customers’ growing desire for clean products – and our ability to deliver for them,” Jill McIntosh, vice president natural foods at Kroger, said. “Kroger’s Summit is an exciting innovation platform that promotes discussion about natural food trends and provides a stage for emerging brands to get their products in front of our buyers and category managers.”

More than 40 brands participated in the initial Summit (see video above), representing different U.S. regions and categories, including snacks, beverages, yogurts, vitamins and supplements, and protein bars and powders.

“New brands and products are key components of Kroger’s growth strategy,” McIntosh said. “In 2018, Kroger will continue to focus on developing new partnerships at micro and macro levels and sourcing locally and regionally. These are just a few of the ways we are redefining the customer experience as outlined in our Restock Kroger plan.”

James Rouse — naturopathic doctor, award-winning author, media personality and speaker — presented at the event.

Kroger’s next Natural Foods Innovation Summit will take place in June and the company will participate in the Natural Products Expo West event in March, giving brands the opportunity to pitch their products to a panel of Kroger merchandising leaders and influencers.

 

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Giant nutritionists help customers get heart healthy for February

BY Michael Johnsen

To honor American Heart Month, Landover, Md.-based Giant Food is encouraging customers to put their health first by offering free heart-healthy store tours at Giant locations across Maryland, Washington D.C., Delaware and Virginia. The tours are led by Giant Food’s in-store nutritionists and will point out items that affect heart health such as fat and sodium while also teaching tips and tricks for preparing heart-healthy meals.

Tours are taking place all month at 30 different Giant Food locations.

“Modest diet and lifestyle changes can improve heart health and lower risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 80% according to the American Heart Association,” Lisa Coleman, lead nutritionist at Giant Food, said. “Giant’s team of nutritionists are passionate about teaching shoppers how simple it can be to make healthy choices. We look forward to meeting with customers throughout the month and talking to them about heart health.”

The Ahold USA grocer has been bringing its nutritionists front and center, lately. Just last month, the chain promoted its team of nutritionists with the release of 10 recommendations toward kicking off a healthy New Year.

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McKesson Pharmacy Systems gets Creative for eCare Plans

BY Michael Johnsen

McKesson Pharmacy Systems on Wednesday announced a new partnership with Creative Pharmacist, a market leader in providing pharmacies with clinical pharmacy solutions. The partnership is expected to empower pharmacies using McKesson’s pharmacy management systems with the ability to manage Pharmacist eCare Plans.

“We believe our alliance with Creative Pharmacist will help transform relationships between community pharmacists and their patients living with chronic disease,” Bernie Reese, senior vice president and general manager, McKesson Pharmacy Systems, said. “Creative Pharmacist has played a key role in helping community pharmacies expand the services they offer far beyond dispensing and ties directly into McKesson’s strategy of enabling pharmacies to maximize operational and clinical performance.”

Pharmacist eCare Plans include a vital shared document containing a patient’s current treatment regimen, medication support needs drug therapy issues and other pertinent details about the pharmacy’s interventions and patient health outcomes.

“Pharmacists are now providing clinical services and participating in enhanced service networks in every state in the nation,” David Pope, chief of innovation and co-founder of Creative Pharmacist, said. “With this partnership, pharmacists using McKesson’s pharmacy management systems will be able to engage their patients, document their encounters, and bill for clinical services, all within their workflow.”

The video above, while it was originally posted in 2015, provides some of the Creative Pharmacist “basics” that the company brings to bear.

In addition to providing support and Pharmacy eCare Plans, the integration of McKesson software technology with Creative Pharmacist can help pharmacies succeed as they increase their services and the growth of high performance networks continues. Whether it’s through diabetes counseling, smoking cessation programs or immunization clinics, the integrated technologies can help pharmacies streamline their workflow and enhance their profitability.

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