LAS VEGAS — Conventional assumptions about the role of supermarkets may be impeding the development of a health-oriented category killer, an industry consultant told a National Grocers Association workshop audience here. According to Art Turock, a Kirkland, Wash.-based consultant, "Supermarkets gave Whole Foods 20 years of dominance," and it's that kind of thinking that could hinder the industry from taking the lead in the push for health. He suggested supermarkets consider hiring nutritionists as sales professionals without operating responsibilities "to conduct wellness classes and educational tours; to make referrals to pharmacists and from pharmacists to dietitians; and to deal with outreach to the medical community. Ten years from now, this will be antiquated thinking." Turock said the only chain he's aware of that has staff dietitians and that charges fees for consultations is Hy-Vee, Des Moines, Iowa.
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