Natural Foods Merchandiser

Shopping for a cure

"We pick a different health topic every month to focus on in our newsletter. We usually talk about some new finding or even old information that we feel people aren't picking up on. For example, we have a high instance of diabetes in our area, so we point out sugar alternatives—products with a low glycemic index like stevia, xylitol and agave nectar. Then we discuss other complementary items, such as cinnamon, which helps lower blood glucose and cholesterol."

Deep Roots Market, Greensboro, N.C.
Emily Clancy, marketing and ownership services director

"We have what we call our vitamin wall, which is separated out into conditions and categories. We find that the stealth shopper would rather go to a section that is clearly marked; for example, our ‘emotional wellbeing' section, where they can locate items for sleep or stress, and they can find what they need without being bothered or having to ask someone. We often do seasonal displays—around the holidays we did one on immunity with a bunch of elderberry products. In January, it is more cleansing and weight loss."

Green Acres Market, Wichita, Kan.
Matt Murray, co-owner and store manager

"All [Whole Foods Market] stores nationwide have a program called ‘Be Good to Your Whole Body' that highlights a different condition or topic each month. It's a guide, like a brochure, that discusses the condition and corresponds with sale items in the Whole Body [vitamin and supplements] section of the store. In January we did the ABCs of supplements. In February we usually focus on heart health, but this year we are looking at libido supplements."

Whole Foods Market, San Francisco
Ashley Paulson, marketing and community relations team leader

"We do endcap displays along with promotions, signs and education. In the winter, we'll have a cold and flu display, but for the most part, our displays are more group-specific than health- condition specific. It's not really a health condition, but we do a lot with gluten free and weight loss, that kind of thing. We also have a newsletter that goes more in depth on what areas are in the news or people are talking about."

Better Health Market, Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Maurice Paine, store manager

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