Harmons is looking at adding more healthy checkout lanes, said director of pharmacy Greg Jones, at the Thursday FMI Connect session “Healthy in-store marketing: Innovative approaches to drive healthy purchases.”

“We’re not quite sure how many. One of my bosses said we should have all of our aisles like that. Another one today said, ‘I think we should have two or three.’”

Right now each of Harmons’ 16 stores has one checkout lane with healthy food options chosen by the company’s team of four dietitians. The foods are chosen from all the departments (aside from the pharmacy and meat departments) with a refrigerated endcap for perishables.

“It’s always the first checkout lane that’s open in the morning and the last one that’s closed at night,” said Jones.


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The checkout lane options are meant to be grab-and-go, impulse items, Jones said. 

“The bananas, for example, they’re single bananas. So what our thought is, ‘Oh, I need a snack while I’m here, I’ll just grab a banana on my way out.”

Some of the challenges Harmons has faced in running the lanes include avoiding departmental turf wars, measuring impact and maintaining the nutritional standards as items sell out.

All in all, Harmons has seen enthusiastic adoption of the healthy lanes from parents.

“We’ve had so many great comments from moms. A lot of moms will only go through that line, so it’s backed up. There’s other lanes that are open, but they wait to go through there.”

Kids, on the other hand, haven’t had the same interest, Jones said.


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