- Wegmans has started accepting SNAP benefits as a form of payment for online grocery orders placed through its website and app, the East Coast grocer announced Wednesday.
- The grocer also said it has launched an online tool called “Feel Your Best” to help shoppers plan balanced meals and build healthy eating habits.
- Wegmans is taking steps to boost its online experience for customers as other grocers also look to make e-commerce more accessible to SNAP participants and easier to navigate for health-focused shopping.
In addition to helping shoppers identify nutritious and flavorful foods, Wegmans’ Feel Your Best guides people to recipes that can cost as little as $2 per serving.
The tool also directs people to the grocer’s array of “wellness keys,” which help identify private label products that meet particular dietary requirements. Shoppers can use the keys to develop meals that reflect those characteristics and use items carrying the company’s own brand.
The grocer’s Feel Your Best webpage includes information about how shoppers can connect with the company’s nutritionists, nutrition tips, resources for special diets such as gluten-free and healthy lifestyle practices.
Other retailers, such as Walmart, have taken steps to add digital tools to help customers match products with health preferences.
Wegmans’ addition of SNAP EBT as a payment method also reflects its goal of helping people in areas where it operates access healthy food, Erica Tickle, Wegmans’ vice president of e-commerce, said in the announcement.
The decision follows requests the grocer has received from shoppers, according to the company.
Wegmans is offering free delivery for three orders to SNAP participants who use their benefits to purchase groceries online. In addition, the company’s online ordering system lets shoppers use a filter so they see only SNAP-eligible items, and shoppers can add an alternative payment method to cover the cost of products and fees not covered by the USDA-funded nutrition assistance program.
SNAP has recently emerged as a potent way for grocers to build interest in their pickup and delivery services. The program has grown rapidly since the pandemic began, and the government has taken steps to make it easier for retailers to integrate the technology they need to process SNAP EBT payments into their e-commerce platforms, which can be complex.
In January, the National Grocers Association Foundation announced that it has received a $5 million grant from the USDA to help independent food retailers implement online purchasing capabilities. The organization plans to use the funds to create a technical assistance center to support grocers interested in accepting SNAP payments from digital shoppers.