Defining the Healthy Retail Revolution

At the confluence of ease of shopping, information accessibility and changing demographics is opportunity for retailers of all kinds to service consumers who are more interested in health than ever before.

Heather Granato, VP, Partnerships & Sustainability

April 28, 2015

2 Min Read
Defining the Healthy Retail Revolution

Consumers are more interested in health and wellness than ever before. At the confluence of ease of shopping, information accessibility and changing demographics is opportunity for retailers of all kinds to service these consumers. However, to understand this healthy retail revolution, we have to go beyond the standard meaning of healthy (“good for your health") and determine a broader definition. In fact, what healthy means depends on consumers’ experiences and expectations, as well as connecting into broader issues such as sustainability, environmental considerations and regulatory changes.

In fact, the 1990s brought significant regulatory changes that have impacted the healthy marketplace, from the passage of the Organic Foods Production Act to the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). These changes have allowed companies to provide more information to consumers. Concurrently, technology was making it easier to find and share that information, which set the stage for dialogue around nutrition and health. Through the 1990s and early 2000s, consumers became more educated, the Boomers drove innovation across the food, beverage, supplement and personal care industries, and “healthy" became increasingly mainstream. Today, Millennials are attracting the attention of marketers and are driving change across industries.

What these different demographics are looking for differs significantly, and that can challenge marketers and retailers looking to bring healthy products to market. Boomers are seeking attributes and ingredients to avoid, such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fats or added sugars; Millennials are more interested in enhanced value, with additions like vitamins/minerals or organic/non-GMO certification.

Across the generations, consumers are shopping in different channels while looking for healthy products, and they have different needs and expectations in each one. A convenience store might be a quick stop for a beverage or snack. The grocery store offers general food and beverage needs, but it is seeing more shopping around the perimeter coupled with a desire for easy comparisons of similar products integrated in the center of the store. Drugstores are commonly used for health and wellness issues, extending into the supplement space as well as personal care. Club and warehouse stores offer the opportunity to buy in bulk. And health food stores of all stripes offer specialty items, more innovative products and the key of education.

Discover more insights around the healthy retail revolution—including consumers’ desires for certain types of labeling, retailer initiatives around programming and at-shelf merchandising, and the rising interest in non-GMO—in the free Report, “Defining the Healthy Retail Revolution."

About the Author(s)

Heather Granato

VP, Partnerships & Sustainability, Informa Markets, Food EMEA division

Heather Granato is a 30-year veteran of the natural products industry, currently serving as vice president, partnerships & sustainability, in the Food EMEA division of Informa Markets. She is based in London, and leads efforts related to industry partnerships and broader sustainability initiatives for the Vitafoods and Food ingredients brands. She has been a presenter at events including SupplySide, Vitafoods, Food ingredients, Natural Products Expo, the Natural Gourmet Show and the Folio: Show. Her publishing experience includes Natural Products Insider, Food Product Design, Vitafoods Insights, Country Living's Healthy Living, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Delicious Magazine and Granato serves as the founding president of Women In Nutraceuticals, a global non-profit founded in 2022 focused on empowering women in the nutraceutical industry; she is also on the board of directors for the Organic & Natural Health Association. From 2016 to 2022, she was a vice president on the national governing board of Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. Granato was named to the FOLIO: 100 list of top media professionals in 2018, and was selected as a 2015 Top Woman in Media by FOLIO:. She received the 2014 Visionary Award and the 2018 Journalistic Excellence Award from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA); and was honored with the CEO Merit Award for Content from Virgo in 2014. Granato graduated magna cum laude from the University of Richmond, Virginia, in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

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