- Raley’s has unveiled a “better-for-you” checkout experience for its customers, reducing candy offerings at its check stands by 25% and fully eliminating conventional candy. Instead, shoppers will find a selection of snacks focused on better nutrition, portion control and reduced sugar content. Some of the products now stocked include KIND bars, Justin’s candy, nuts, beef jerky and seaweed snacks.
- This move aligns with incremental changes Raley’s has made in recent years to move customers toward products that are better for them. In 2016, Raley’s reduced overall candy offerings throughout its stores and eliminated sugar-sweetened soda.
- “We want to make it easier for our customers to make better choices for their personal health journey,” says Keith Knopf, Raley’s president. “We are already seeing customers respond favorably to our improved offering, which supports their ability to act on their own intentions and choose to eat well – whether they’re filling their carts or grabbing a quick bite.
Raley’s has long been a health-minded retailer, and it continues to take significant steps to brand itself accordingly. Last year the company launched a Shelf Guide program to help customers understand packaging and product labels, and to offer more nutrient-rich, minimally processed items with no added sugar. More recently, Raley’s opened its first wellness-focused Market 5-ONE-5, hired a full-time dietitian and renovated its corporate offices to include an on-site gym and walking trail, among other wellness-focused features.
Cutting back on conventional candy is another step toward solidifying its role as a health-focused grocer, and shoppers should expect to see more moves like this from Raley's in the future – especially with a dietitian on staff who is, in part, responsible for bringing more healthy products into stores.
Raley’s is among the first to officially announce such a move, but it may not be long before other retailers cut back on conventional candy as well. Americans are concerned with the negative health effects of sugar, and retailers from Target to Costco are beginning to stock more health-conscious candy brands, such as Justin’s and Clif, and candies using ingredients like dark chocolate.
Recent studies show that placing healthier items, which are experiencing growth in stores, in checkout lines makes it easier for consumers to find and buy those items. While many shoppers are mindful during their grocery trips, the check stand is a place where impulse can trump more health-conscious decisions. Some customers may miss the ability to grab a last-minute Snicker’s bar, but others will likely be grateful not to have the temptation.
Despite this move, and even if other grocers follow suit, it’s unlikely that grocery stores will be the deciding factor in whether or not conventional candy sales stay strong or experience a drop. Conventional candy is widely available in a number of convenience stores and through major retailers, and consumer sentiment toward processed sugar will likely determine how sales shape up in the future – or how candy makers reformulate their products.