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3 Ways to Add Value to Healthy Meals


Supermarket retailers are revving up merchandising — and sales — of particularly healthful items in their prepared food departments, they say. Here are three ways retailers are making healthy more appealing to shoppers.  

1. Add Some Color

Until recently, conventional wisdom has been that “healthy” itself was all that was needed to represent value to customers. Not any more.

Now retailers say they’re adding color to their displays of tofu salad and sautéed escarole by adding strips of red and yellow bell peppers, or putting them in high-color, attractive platters and bowls.

“Those peppers make our new edamame bean salad pop,” Tom Droegkamp, deli manager, at a LaCrosse, Wis., Festival Foods store, told SN.

“The actual colors make it more interesting than just that it’s healthy…”

Other retailers say, “color is the qualifier.” So is adding something that’s familiar and known to be tasty such as a particular whole grain bread or roll.

2. Emphasize Freshness

Underscoring freshness with open-kitchen cooking, made-to-order sandwiches, and just managing displays so they’re attractive and look fresh at all times, are some of the things retailers are doing to add value, and appeal, to their healthy menu items.

When it comes to adding value to “healthy,” even punch cards are employed at a Hy-Vee store in Austin, Minn. On “Wellness Wednesdays” there, the kitchen is featuring a healthful, plated meal modeled after the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines. Not only is Hy-Vee dietitian Jen Haugen making half the plate fruits and vegetables, she’s also emphasizing color. She said featuring the likes of dried cranberries, orange slices, and strawberries is important.

3. Give One on the House

Haugen has also added punch cards to her Wellness Wednesdays. Each time a customer buys a MyPlate healthy meal, his or her card is punched. After 10 punches, their eleventh meal is free.

Read More: Prepared Food Departments Upgrade Menus

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Don Cuppett

Don Cuppett Jr. is content production director for Supermarket News, a Penton Media publication.

Liz Webber

Liz Webber is Senior Digital Manager at Supermarket News. She covers fresh foods for the magazine and creates multimedia, blog posts and other content for the website. She joined SN in August 2012.
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