It’s likely anyone attending the recent American Dietetic Association meeting (fondly known as FNCE) in San Diego is still digesting the new products, focus on MyPlate and the research updates. Here are some take-homes that have a connection to what we do in the supermarket.
Gluten free: This is a case where the trend has become a standard. Many of the brands seen in many supermarkets were at FNCE with samples, materials and new products. The take-home is to contact vendors for recipes and brochures, either ready to use or as camera-ready masters. But an observation was that some of the vendor representatives were as misinformed as some customers. This tells me there's still a need to get the facts and to follow up on what information your sales staff is getting and giving the customer.
Dietitian Shelley Case provided great information at the show so check out her website and book. And ADA has a new reference for professionals on gluten free available for sale at their website eatright.org.
The W’s: Weight and wellness were in evidence both on the program and throughout the vendor offerings. The idea of a focus on wellness is something the industry has embraced but much of the focus was on the Dietary Guidelines 2010 top advice to limit sodium, set guides for how much and what kind of fat and fiber, increasing whole grains, eating more legumes, and the leader of all….fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits.
Food safety and the idea of organically grown or “natural” was in full view as well. These are messages that point toward what we should be featuring. And don’t forget the emphasis on Kids Eat Right and aiming children toward healthy weight, a topic that has its own website.
Choose MyPlate: Although the Pyramid materials still lingered, at least 5 displays centered on the new messages featuring the new MyPlate icon. It would seem that the Let’s Move initiative has helped government agencies move quickly to produce some easily reproducible materials. Check them out since the plate isn’t going away for awhile!