ANDOVER, Md. -- A new Whole Health strategy is up and running at all Giant Food stores.
The retailer, based here, launched its "Healthy Ideas -- Nourishing Body and Mind" campaign, which includes new informational kiosks and expanded content on the company's Web site, along with ongoing health screenings and heart-healthy recipes.
Giant Food is supporting the program with an extensive advertising campaign. Janet Tenney, manager of nutrition programs, said, "We're doing a five-week blitz at the beginning." The campaign, which includes full-page print ads every Sunday as well as radio and television spots, all feature Odonna Matthews, the company's vice president of consumer affairs.
Each month, "Healthy Ideas" will highlight a different health issue. Tenney said that, beginning in July, ads will run during the first week of each month and will spotlight the selected theme.
New three-sided kiosks have been installed in all Giant Food locations. At their 132 locations that include a pharmacy, the kiosk is placed within that department. Giant Food also operates three self-standing drug stores. At the retailer's other 46 supermarkets, the "Healthy Ideas" kiosks are at the front of the stores.
The kiosks offer consumers booklets on such topics as diabetes, osteoporosis, poison prevention, heart health, herbals, and vitamins and minerals. Other health issues will be added on an ongoing basis. Tenney said that the information included in the booklets was developed by the company's consumer affairs department. "We have a nutritionist writer, and we also work closely with an advisory board of medical and health experts," she noted.
Tenney stressed that the program has no direct tie-ins to specific products. "We have vendor cooperation, absolutely," she said, "but we don't connect it to health information. Our research has told us that we need to keep advertising separate from information. If customers see advertising in the information, they'll think of the whole thing as advertising."
The program's first focus was on women's health. Tenney noted that some suppliers of soy products were very interested in the women's health promotion, and ran their own ads highlighting their lines.
Giant Food was also a major sponsor of the Baltimore Women's Show last month, where it distributed booklets on calcium and heart disease. "Many people don't realize that heart disease is a major killer of women," Tenney pointed out.
In addition to the new kiosks, Giant Food will continue to conduct its "diabetes tour," where it helps customers identify healthy shopping choices. It will also continue to offer flu shots and sponsor other health screening services.