As food and beverage businesses announce their participation in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health Wednesday (Sept. 28), many are using the opportunity to unveil not only environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives, as one might expect, but also features to drive customer acquisition and loyalty with nutrition-minded shoppers.
These efforts come amid a years-long trend towards wellness-motivated shopping, especially among millennial and gen Z consumers. Target-owned delivery service Shipt, for one, announced that it will “update” its marketplace to make it easier for consumers to shop for groceries according to their dietary needs and preferences.
See also: Shipt Targets Healthy Meals as Part of White House Hunger Conference
The announcement followed Shipt’s July 2021 launch of a dietary preferences feature, enabling customers to search for products that meet their lifestyle needs.
Read more: Shipt Adds Dietary Preferences To Meet Shoppers’ Individual Needs
“Shipt was actually the first nationwide grocery delivery service to offer features like, say, keto, like organic,” Shipt CEO Kamau Witherspoon told PYMNTS in an interview Wednesday (Sept. 28). “Over the past year that the dietary preferences feature has been available to our customers, we’ve seen thousands of customers save their dietary preferences in their Shipt profile and use that as a search for products to build their baskets.”
He noted that this feature has also improved in-store shoppers’ ability to choose satisfactory substitutions for the end customer, given that these shoppers can view dietary preferences saved to the customer’s profile. Among other updates to these features coming next year, Witherspoon noted that the company is working with the American Heart Association to incorporate their research.
Also Wednesday, U.S. grocery giant Albertsons announced several new initiatives, including the addition of new shoppable recipes meant to be “nutritious and approachable.” Additionally, the grocer is also using this conference to reveal that it is growing its ReadyMeals program to nearly double its current size, expanding it from 600 stores to 1,100 by the end of this fiscal year.
While the company is positioning this move as a way to boost access to nutritious meals, the timing certainly works in the grocer’s favor, as rising food prices have many consumers purchasing fewer meals from restaurants and in turn seeking more affordable ready-made alternatives from grocers.
Research from PYMNTS’ study “Digital Economy Payments: Consumers Buy Into Food Bargains,” which drew from a July survey of a census-balanced panel of nearly 2,700 U.S. consumers, found that 37% of consumers had bought prepared food on their most recent grocery trip, up 7 points from the 30% of consumers who had done so back in November 2021.
Get your copy: Digital Economy Payments: Consumers Buy Into Food Bargains
“As a company, we continue to challenge ourselves to provide simple, actionable solutions, helping our customers and communities to meet their nutritional needs and health goals,” Albertsons chief digital efficer and executive vice president health Omer Gajial said in a statement.
DoorDash, for its part, announced a range of ESG-focused initiatives on Wednesday in collaboration with the conference.
Instacart, meanwhile, unveiled its new “Instacart Health” initiative with a range of moves to create new use cases including introducing a business nutrition benefit called Fresh Funds and Care Carts, which allow healthcare providers and caregivers to purchase groceries for delivery for their patients.
Related news: Instacart Debuts Employee Wellness Perks to Court Business Customers
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