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Grocers Note Nutritionists, RDs Gaining Credibility

February 11, 2014
by Candy & Snack TODAY

Santa Monica, CA — Grocers who provide shoppers with access to nutritionists and dietitians are gaining a competitive advantage for the future, according to results of the National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru 2014 Consumer Survey Report.

In the survey of 1,380 adult consumers, one-third said they would be willing to pay for personalized dietary guidance, whether for improved health or weight loss, and almost 40 percent suggested they would likely pay for a nutritional consult if they also received a discount on certain items.

Analyst Phil Lempert, the “Supermarket Guru,” advises grocers help shoppers seeking nutrition advice. “Have the registered dietitian walk the store floor, meeting shoppers and asking whether they have questions,” he counsels. “Don’t wait for them to come to you.”

Confidence in nutritional professionals is growing: one in seven surveyed (16.4 percent) say they regularly consult a nutritionist or dietitian, an increase from 12.4 percent in 2013 and 11.6 percent in 2012. Only the Internet, periodicals and television are more popular sources for health and nutrition information, and the number of adults relying on these media is decreasing.

Moreover, those searching online for credible nutritional guidance increasingly rely on nutrition professionals — more than research journals, magazines and physicians — than in the past. On the other hand, use of the Internet for dietary information is declining: currently, 28.4 percent trust online content compared with almost one-third of adults (31 percent) in 2013.

Lempert suggests improved confidence in nutritionists and dietitians corresponds to the growing desire among consumers to eat healthier and increased confidence in their credentials. In addition, the ability to gain personalized advice from an accessible resource appeals to many people. 

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