"Hiring, Leveraging, and Empowering Retail Dietitians"

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"Hiring, Leveraging, and Empowering Retail Dietitians"

By Cathy Polley, RPh, Executive Director, FMI Foundation and Vice President, FMI Health & Wellness - 04/01/2014

Health and wellness can no longer be categorized as simply a trend in the retail space – 8 out of 10 FMI member companies recognize health and wellness as a competitive strategy. The explosive growth in this category represents a shift in consumer expectations, as customers increasingly look to retailers to provide nutrition education. Those retailers creatively answering the customer hunger for nutritional information have the opportunity to become noted health and wellness destinations by delivering specialized services and products that will increase shopper loyalty. It is estimated more than 500 retail dietitians are currently employed by grocers, with several hundred more working in a consulting capacity.

To help retailers better understand the role and benefits of employing retail dietitians, The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA) recently launched an online interactive tool kit titled, "Hiring, Leveraging, and Empowering Retail Dietitians." The toolkit provides retail CEOs, store managers, and human resources executives with information regarding how to maximize a dietitian's impact, with the guidance tailored to a store's size and health and wellness strategy. "Hiring, Leveraging, and Empowering Retail Dietitians" also includes detailed descriptions of retail dietitian's roles, sample job descriptions, and guidance on aligning retail dietitian teams within the corporate structure based on the retail size and market.

"FMI is committed to helping retailers satisfy the health and wellness needs of their shoppers," says Cathy Polley, vice president of health and wellness at FMI and executive director of the FMI Foundation. "This tool kit provides retailers with valuable corporate guidance that will positively impact customer loyalty and sales of better-for-you products."

The interactive toolkit is available on the FMI Foundation website [www.fmi.org/Foundation/what-we-support] in both English and Spanish. The RDBA serves as a professional group for retail registered dietitians throughout the U.S. and is the first to offer retail business education programs that help these professionals better understand the business of retail including trends, merchandising, working with suppliers and more.

Making the Connection

With a name like FMI Connect 2014, you can bet our focus is on delivering meaningful connections.  To help retailer and wholesaler participants get the most out of their FMI Connect experience, FMI is initiating a new service called FMI Communities. FMI will help you get connected by offering specialized itineraries and contoured guidance to programs, educational offerings and experiences for the following valued areas of expertise:

  • Store Managers
  • Sales, Marketing and Merchandising
  • FutureConnect Alumni
  • Technology
  • Fresh Foods
  • Food Safety
  • Health and Wellness
  • Private Brands
  • Store Operations
  • Supply Chain
  • Supermarket Chefs
  • State Executives
  • Owners, Presidents and CEO's

Additionally, FMI Communities will amplify FMI Connect's value to participants through hands-on sessions with industry thought leaders and customized networking opportunities with specific peer groups, ensuring there are real-world takeaways.

As grocery stores are the backbone of the world's communities, FMI Communities will become the backbone of the preeminent yearly gathering of the grocery industry.

For more information contact Cathy Polley, RPh, Executive Director, FMI Foundation and Vice President, FMI Health & Wellness at [email protected].