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Tops Markets partners with dietary/diabetes educator to debut Savings for Health

BY DSN STAFF

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tops Markets, which operates 132 stores in western New York and Pennsylvania, is offering customers a new service to help them make healthier eating choices and develop better habits, according to a report by The Buffalo News.

Offered in partnership with Southtowns, N.Y.-based dietary and diabetes education consultant Propel Health, the program, called “Savings for Health,” offers enrollees access to information on food and menu-planning options based on products that currently are available in local Tops stores. The program costs $19.95 per year to join.

The goal of Savings for Health is to reinforce the message that eating healthy foods doesn’t have to break the bank. "Healthy eating does not have to be more expensive. That’s a misconception," registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and Propel Health owner Jeff Ensminger told The Buffalo News. "[Savings for Health is] geared toward preventing chronic diseases, but treating them as well."

Once enrolled, users access a password-protected website at SavingsForHealth.com to receive weekly updates on available health food items and products, as well as recipes, meal-planning tips, weekly coupons and the weekly healthy shopping list, which also is e-mailed to enrollees. All foods, recipes and meal recommendations on the site meet or exceed American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society and American Dietetic Association dietary guidelines.

According to a Tops Markets spokeswoman, the chain’s Buffalo-area stores will be the first to try out the new program, which is expected to be rolled out to the retailer’s stores in other markets, the newspaper noted.

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Frito-Lay goes ‘au naturale’

BY DSN STAFF

PLANO, Texas — Frito-Lay has vowed to reformulate the ingredient mix of about half of its snack products to be completely natural — including three of its biggest brands: Lay’s, Tostitos and Sunchips — by the end of 2011, the company announced Tuesday. Once reformulated, the products  will contain only all-natural ingredients, and will include no artificial or synthetic ingredients, no artificial flavors and no preservatives, including MSG. The company maintained that the changes will not impact the products’ flavor.

Other items among the more than six dozen products the company plans to reformulate include Frito-Lay’s Baked snacks and Rold Gold pretzel varieties.

"We have insights that show consumers are seeking a wider range of products made with all-natural ingredients. We want to provide our customers with a broad portfolio of snack options that taste great and are made with real food ingredients," said Ann Mukherjee, SVP and chief marketing officer at Frito-Lay. "Many of the unflavored snacks in our portfolio are already made with all-natural ingredients, and we’ve focused on expanding our portfolio of products with all-natural ingredients to include more of consumers’ favorite flavored products."

Frito-Lay will roll out the newly reformulated products throughout the course of the year. The new all-natural items will be easily identifiable with a stamp on the package.

To support the initiative, Frito-Lay is undertaking its largest integrated marketing campaign in its history, the company noted. The campaign launches Jan. 1 during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and will include a significant focus on digital and social media to connect with consumers, the company noted.

Frito-Lay plans to take advantage of the rollout and marketing to drive more consumers to Facebook — most ads in the new campaign and product packaging will list the brands’ Facebook pages. "[We are] highlighting our ‘seed to shelf’ story, which shows the care and pride that goes into every step to make our products, from the real ingredients that we use to the real culinary arts and quality employee experts," Mukherjee said. "We are pulling back the curtain and inviting consumers to learn how our products are created, from our kitchen into theirs."

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Post Foods puts ‘Pebbles’ brands on a diet

BY DSN STAFF

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Post Foods has announced that as of January 2011, the company’s Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles cereal will have a lower sugar content — 9 g per serving — in an effort to address the rise in nutritional concerns among Americans, the company noted last week.

The rice-based cereal brands also will be certified as gluten free — a relatively unique distinction in the cereal category, according to Post Foods.

"Post Foods is dedicated to providing both nutritious and delicious cereals for people of all ages, and we’re pleased to announce improvements to the Pebbles brand that will assist in our ongoing efforts to improve kids’ nutrition," said Post Foods’ Bart Adlam. "By lowering our sugar content and providing gluten free certification, we hope moms feel confident serving a cereal that combines the fun and heritage of Bedrock with great taste that kids love."

Additionally, the company noted that it is part of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a program launched by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to help tackle childhood obesity by changing the mix of ad messages directed to children under the age of 12 years old to include healthier food choices.

"We commend Post Foods for its commitment to making and advertising healthier choices for kids,” said Elaine Kolish, VP and director of the CFBAI.  “This is one more great example of how the commitment to self regulation and responding to consumer needs is making a difference in children’s advertising."
 

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