- Natural Grocers announced Wednesday it is now offering in-store, personalized shopping experiences with its nutritional health coaches at select locations.
- Shoppers can have a free, 30-minute walkthrough by a coach, who can point out personalized product recommendations, give suggestions for household products that are better for both the planet and people, and offer advice on food and supplement options for pets.
- Natural Grocers stressed that this new experience aims to meet shoppers’ tailored needs, such as dietary restrictions or interest in learning more about which products are healthier or more sustainable.
Natural Grocers’ new offering comes at a time when other grocers are also leaning into personalization coupled with food-as-medicine to capture shoppers’ interests.
The personalized shopping experience allows Natural Grocers to highlight its quality standards and emphasis on health and well-being when it comes to food. To encourage customers to try the service, Natural Grocers is offering them a coupon for $5 off a purchase of at least $25.
Natural Grocers did not say how many of its more than 160 stores across 21 states will offer the service.
Along with getting personalized product recommendations, Natural Grocers said shoppers can also boost their awareness of ecologically conscious products and why food choices matter.
After the shopping experience, customers can schedule a complimentary coaching session to continue working on their food and health goals, per the booking details on Natural Grocers’ website.
“We want to help take the confusion out of reading labels, shopping for supplements, and meal planning,” Karen Falbo, director of nutrition education for Natural Grocers, said in a statement. “We want to make it easier and quicker to shop so that achieving personal nutritional health goals can be done with ease.”
The new offering builds on Natural Grocers’ growing resources for customers interested in the intersection of food and health. The specialty grocer also has in-store nutrition classes and recipe demonstrations. Customers can ask health coaches questions via an online portal and get a response via email or phone within a few days.
The Food Industry Association has noted personalized nutrition education is one of several key avenues grocers can explore to tap into the food-as-medicine trend. Other ways include medically tailored nutrition from a registered dietitian nutritionist or health professional, food prescription programs, path-to-purchase marketing and incentive programs, such as coupons for fruits and vegetables.
Other grocers and technology companies in the food space are also expanding the prevalence of food as medicine. Earlier this month, Instacart announced new tools to help health providers scale food as medicine.
Kroger’s Health division has also been busy expanding its nutrition scoring, food prescriptions and dietitian-focused approach to help consumers leverage food for preventative care.