Ingestion is digestion, Wegman’s figures, so the East Coast U.S. retailer is trying to make healthy choices easier for its customers by displaying healthy-food options from its supermarkets right next to its pharmacies.
The Rochester, N.Y.-based supermarket chain long has had a reputation for innovation in healthful consumption, and for educating its customers.
Now, it's echoing its tagline (Eat Well, Live Well) by establishing "Eat Well, Live Well" stations near its pharmacies. Each display may showcase, for example, products from Wegman’s food aisles that contain omega-3s, which boost cardiac health and brain development.
“Because foods and lifestyle choices also play powerful roles in health and wellness, pharmacists at Wegman’s get regular briefings on current scientific research in this area, and they’re encouraged to share findings with customers when appropriate,” explains the 76-store chain in a statement.
Wegman’s already has helped its shoppers make healthful choices in a variety of ways, including providing “wellness keys” that tell them about whether a food item meets any of several nutrition criteria including whether it’s high in fiber, low in fat, vegan or gluten-free.
The company obviously is tapping into the unsettling truth that Americans are more interested than ever in health and wellness but perhaps still confused about exactly how to attain it.
Government regulators, for example, have tight restrictions on what specific health benefits that food, beverage and supplement makers can claim for their products. Wegman’s is among a handful of major grocery chains across the country that have been trying to help out their customers by bringing more nutrition information to them.
“As health professionals, pharmacists know that food and medication play different but mutually supportive roles in helping customers lead healthier lives,” said Brian Pompo, coordinator of wellness and clinical services for pharmacy at Wegman’s. “We do give customers the counsel they need and want regarding medications, but we also believe that sharing how food supports health helps customers.”
Wegman’s customers likely will drink – and eat – to that.