- Raley's is taking yet another step toward transparency and promoting healthier choices by making major changes to its cold cereal aisle and giving a prime shelf position to less sugary products.
- This move aligns with incremental changes Raley’s has made in recent years to move customers toward better-for-you products. In the last year alone, Raley's hired a full-time dietitian, added “better for you” checkout lanes and eliminated the sale of tobacco in grocery stores.
- “We know that the changes in Raley’s stores can positively influence our customers’ choices,” Keith Knopf, President & CEO, said in a statement. “Our team has thoughtfully developed a system to evaluate added sugar in cold cereals. We believe between education and product placement, we can help more customers identify and avoid added sugar.”
With its latest move to remake the layout of its cold cereal aisle, Raley’s continues to build its reputation as a health-conscious retailer. Raley’s will now give prime shelf real estate to cereals that have less sugar. Cereals with 25% or more of their total calories coming from added sugar will be relegated to the bottom shelves.
It's a move aligned with shoppers’ preferences. A national consumer survey by Label Insight found that 67% of Americans planned to prioritize healthy or socially-conscious food purchases in 2018. Their primary point of emphasis — cutting back on sugars. 47% of consumers said they planned to eat less sugar or buy more "no sugar added" products this year. The same survey showed that consumers want better and more transparent food labels that are simple to understand and make it easy to identify “clean” or “minimally processed products.”
Raley’s is working with Label Insight to develop a sugar filter equation to help guide shelf placement for cereals. They will look at total calories and total sugars in a cup of cereal to make those determinations. Cereals will be labeled with blue “Higher in Added Sugar” and gold “Lower in Added Sugar” tags and shelf blades will be added to explain the change to consumers.
Raley’s is already getting the word out to consumers. In addition to the in-store signage, the latest episode of their video series, Minute with Mike Teel, explained the change to viewers. Teel acknowledges the move may “put them in the crosshairs” with food manufacturers, but that Raley’s is dedicated to considering their customers’ health.
Other grocers may follow Raley’s lead. Americans are increasingly concerned with the negative effects of sugar, which will likely have an effect on all categories of packaged food. 30% of food companies are investing in healthy foods and consumers are willing to pay more for those options. At the same time, food companies are making changes. The Consumer Goods Forum health and wellness progress report found 68% of companies reported reductions in sugar in their products, an increase of 12% over 2016.
Raley’s may be starting in the cereal aisle, but with the company looking at analyzing added sugar in all its processed foods, more changes could be in store.