UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Hain Food Group here is positioning itself as the category captain for medically directed foods.
an opportunity to change the section to a medically directed department.
"We perceived the diet section as a dead section," explained Irwin Simon, chief executive officer for the Hain Group here, which includes Estee, and more recently, the Weight Watchers, Alba and Featherweight lines, in addition to the company's natural and kosher brands.
Medically directed sections consist of products typically sold in diet sections, but also a wide range of other "better-for-you" items.
"Our strategy is to sell supermarkets a 'better-for-you' section that may include 4 to 6 feet of natural, 4 feet of diabetic, 4 feet for weight management, and 2 to 3 feet of reduced-sodium products, like the Alba and Featherweight brands," Simon said.
Hain offers data from Stamford, Conn.-based ACNielsen, planograms, product assortment and consumer advertising and support, said Simon. Moreover, Hain is incorporating brands from other manufacturers in the better-for-you sections.
According to Patrick Cornacchiulo, category manager for the Hain Group, most supermarkets currently want help with the medically directed category. Bi-Lo, H.E. Butt Grocery Co., Kroger Co., Lucky Stores, Pathmark Stores, Publix Supermarkets, Ralphs Grocery Co., Safeway, Vons Cos. and Wal-Mart are several of the chains Hain is working with.