Supermarket operators can boost health and wellness sales by partnering with companies that serve consumers interested in healthy lifestyles, a speaker told the Supermarket News at Expo West conference in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday.


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Margaux Drake, the “Living Well’” lifestyle expert for D&W Fresh Market, Grand Rapids, Mich., said operators need to think outside the box. “You can’t force someone to decide to be health- and wellness-minded. You have to go into the community to find people who have already made that decision and let them know you have the products they are looking for,” she advised.

Drake said she has worked with sports retailers, automotive dealers and others whose customers lead an active lifestyle and invited those customers to events geared to healthy living, such as spin classes — “anything where you can meet face-to-face with potential customers. And then you need to invite them on store tours immediately after the special events.”

Read more: SN's coverage of Natural Products Expo West

John CreedSpeaking at the same session, John Creed, category manager for natural, frozen and dairy for Unified Grocers, Los Angeles, said independents are looking for ways to take advantage of new trends, and setting up wellness centers in their stores with the help of CPG companies and food brokers is one way to create a “signature” or “personality” for the store Creed said he expects such partnerships to grow “as retailers look for ways to set themselves apart.”

The SN event was held just prior to the start of the Natural Products Expo West, which is sponsored by New Hope. Both SN and New Hope are divisions of Penton Media.

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