HEALTH

‘Pro’-active health at Wegmans

BY Michael Johnsen

Wegmans hosts a bevy of natural solutions (e.g., gluten-free foods, supplements and homeopathic solutions) just outside its produce department, including this refrigerated unit replete with probiotics and flax-seed oil supplements. That places the mass-oriented grocer more in line with the kind of natural wellness position you would expect to find at a Whole Foods or other natural grocer. 


Even during a time when consumers are cutting back on healthcare expenditures, the probiotics category has continued to grow. According to a report in New Hope 360, sales of probiotic refrigerated juices and beverages were up 43.6% in the natural channel for the 12 months ended August 2010, citing SPINS data. Sales of all probiotics across food, drug and mass in that time were up 37% to $223 million.

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Walmart gets back in on the action

BY Michael Johnsen

Action Alley — branded feature displays and four-sided fixtures in the main aisles — marked its return to all Walmart stores this past holiday season, and signified Walmart’s return to promotional intensity.


“Action Alley is a characteristic communication to our customers,” said Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO, last year. “It’s how we talk to them. Other competitors have other things — discount cards, loyalty cards, double coupons. For us, Action Alley is an important piece of who we are because it tells the customer what we believe is important, and it adds that element of excitement that says that this is a Walmart store.”


Action Alley proved to be a significant factor in Walmart’s increase of 8.2% in inventory for its fiscal year ended Jan. 28. Coupled with a similar return to increased assortments, these two initiatives contributed approximately 120 basis points of the total growth for the year, Simon told investors in February.

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Walgreens leads the way to ‘well’

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens not only is the “Way to Well,” it also is the “Way to Stay Well,” as evidenced by this shelf talker in the dietary supplement aisle that contains a 44-page pamphlet titled “Vitamins & Supplements Q&A: Your A to Z Shopping Guide.”


Inside are reasons to take supplements to both improve health and prevent disease. Specific supplement topics include the best supplements to take to help manage healthy blood-glucose levels, as well as bone and joint, cognitive, heart, immune and prenatal health. 


And Walgreens is targeting more than the baby boomer, who is projected to drive sales of supplements through the next decade — most of the images inside the pamphlet represent younger families.


In addition to the three-plus pages of branded coupons, one of the last pages of the pamphlet contains the list of medical journal references that support the supplement benefits made earlier in the guide.


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