Distributed with this week's SN you'll find a little something extra. It's this quarter's SN Whole Health, the supplement to SN on the business of health and wellness and its fit with supermarket retailing.
With this quarter's issue, the SN Whole Health supplement moves into its second full year of publication. So there's no better time to take a look at the special content it offers SN readers.
Since its inception more than a year ago, SN Whole Health has endeavored to show how product and methods probably are not too specialized, as many retailers still believe. The inaugural SN Whole Health offered a cover feature about how natural and organic product can find a home in the meat department. Next was an issue about identifying categories that hold the potential for growing in the supermarket environment; then came an issue about changing retail strategies to accommodate growth categories, followed by a close-up of how Ukrop's makes a business of health and wellness.
This quarter's SN Whole Health's cover feature examines implications of the fact the baby boomer generation is now turning 60 years of age. That situation virtually mandates that supermarkets prepare to ride the upcoming age-wave by making changes. Naturally, it's already happening. Indeed, as you'll see in the feature beginning on Page 24 of SN Whole Health, change is happening at that stalwart of conventionals: Safeway. Change is being driven by Safeway's "Ingredients for Life" rebranding and remerchandising program. (The program was mentioned in this space last week.) This indicates that Safeway correctly anticipates that we're on the cusp of a fundamental change in how people shop. Safeway's new direction is marked by higher-quality meat and produce -- together with organics -- coupled with enhanced customer service. Safeway's initiative is also cited on SN Whole Health's Page 43.
Of course, there's a lot more in the 56 pages of this quarter's SN Whole Health, so let's take a closer look:
On the horizon is an animal-care matter that will soon come home to roost at supermarkets. It's the rapidly growing protest movement against eggs produced by caged hens. Retailers such as Loblaws and Wegmans are among the first to be in the focus of protest groups. Since the aim of anti-cage protesters may gain traction with shoppers, this can't be ignored. SN Whole Health, Page 10.
In somewhat the same vein, environmental activists have a new coinage: "food miles." The term is intended to build consumer awareness of the distance from farm to shelf some food travels, and the implicit waste involved. At the base of the matter is the assumption that locally produced product is superior to that sourced from a distance. It's not entirely clear if shoppers will be won over, especially if the realization dawns that the out-of-season availability of most products would vanish. SN Whole Health, Page 14.
SN editors hope you'll continue to find SN Whole Health to be a useful addition to SN weekly; the reaction to SN Whole Health has been so positive, the frequency is scheduled to be increased in 2006.