Survey: Shoppers feel supermarkets are helpful in making healthful choices

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. As many as 50% of shoppers felt that their supermarket helped them make healthful choices, according a recent Catalina Marketing survey (supported by the Food Marketing Institute) released Monday.

In addition, 36% of shoppers believed their supermarket helped them manage or reduce their risk of specific health concerns. And more than 40% of shoppers were interested in supermarkets providing recipes and information for specific health concerns, health screening services, nutritional counseling and personalized wellness plans.

“We will use this study to make it easier for both manufacturers and retailers to help shoppers make healthy, nutritious choices in every aisle of the store,” stated Sharon Glass, Catalina Marketing’s group VP health, wellness and beauty. “It uncovers what shoppers really want and how to design programs or services that best align with their needs. Making smart nutritional choices can notably improve overall health and how we feel each day.”

According to the findings, shoppers want a combination of convenience, cost, taste and messaging that will motivate them to replace fast-food meals with healthier options. “Our members want an integrated approach to creating comprehensive health-and-wellness programs,” stated Cathy Polley, VP health and wellness and executive director of the FMI Foundation at the Food Marketing Institute. “Catalina Marketing’s blueprint can help them make health and wellness a reality in their supermarket.”

Other findings include:

  • 38% of shoppers reported that their grocery store provides information on foods and beverages that can help manage their personal health concerns;
  • 25% believed that store employees are knowledgeable about nutrition. But less than one-third of respondents felt that supermarket employees were knowledgeable enough to provide assistance about nutrition, vitamins, nutritional supplements and over-the-counter health remedies;
  • 77% believed healthy food is expensive, and more than 80% said coupons for healthy products encourage healthy shopping;
  • 59% felt that healthy foods and beverages generally taste good. Fast-food fans are the least likely to agree that healthy options generally taste good;
  • 69% of shoppers were interested in having their store stock freshly prepared, healthy meals, and 64% were interested in programs that recommend healthier options for the products they generally buy through messages printed at the checkout or website tools; and
  • 51% of respondents with children find it hard to plan healthy meals. 

The online study surveyed more than 2,500 male and female adults across the United States older than 21 years of age with primary responsibility for the grocery-shopping in their homes. The study provided guidance on how the industry can best help shoppers make positive choices in nutrition and lifestyle management.