14 HEALTH & WELLNESS HANDBOOK 2017 | FEATURE www.groceryheadquarters.com
HEALTH & WELLNESS hand book 2017
Further, Jorgensen believes several other retailers
aside from Kroger are also doing a good job with free-from inventory.
“Ahold’s Stop & Shop Nature’s Promise brand
makes a strong free-from promise that is promoted
widely throughout the store using the actual term ‘free-
from’ on signage. H-E-B has recently launched its Select
Ingredients brand with a clearly-defined free-from list
that takes the forward-looking step of excluding ‘Nano
Particle Technology ingredients,” Jorgensen says, not-
ing that H-E-B has not removed GMO ingredients,
but intends to label them in the future. And at present,
Whole Foods is working to exclude GMOs from its
Exclusive Brands portfolio by September 2018.”
Cohen, too, believes in the potential free-from offers.
However, he suggests that retailers take a more cautious approach to the category.
“Retailers need to proceed with caution and ask
CPG companies for verification of any [free-from]
claims,” Cohen says. “This is a space right now that is
not regulated, so it is essential to ask for all food docu-
mentation to ensure that companies are operating to
the highest standards. Right now, a company can say
products are ‘nut-free’ but it doesn’t have to validate
[that claim]. Retailers have a right to ask for verifica-
tion and should make that the top priority in selecting
brands to sell.”
Once you decide on your approach to free-from
products, the next step is deciding how to merchandise
and market them.
According to Jorgensen, there are two popular
A leader in the grocery retailing industry,
ALDI operates more than 1,600 U.S.
stores in 35 states. In June, the company
announced a $3.4 billion capital
investment to expand to 2,500 stores
nationwide by the end of 2022.
More than 40 million customers each
month benefit from the company’s
guiding principle: “High-quality food
should be easy and affordable.” To that
end, ALDI employs a simple, streamlined
approach to grocery retailing: stores sell
the most frequently purchased grocery
and household items, primarily under
ALDI’s exclusive brands, which must
meet or exceed the national name brands
on taste and quality.
Today, those exclusive brands include
many that fall into the healthier-for-you,
“We were the first grocery store to
offer our own line of gluten-free products
with the liveGFree brand, and we were
the first grocery store to offer all of our
ALDI exclusive products free of certified
synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated
oils (PHOs) and added MSG,” says
Scott Patton, vice president of corporate
buying, ALDI US. “Our milk and all of
the milk used to make our cultured dairy
products, like sour cream and yogurt, is
“Shoppers rave about our exclusive
lines such as SimplyNature, which is
free from more than 125 ingredients
and includes many organic options,” he
continues, “and about our Never Any!
meats, which have no antibiotics, added
hormones or steroids or animal by-
ALDI not only carries these healthier-
for-you items; the retailer also includes
clearly marked labels on the front of
product packages so shoppers can
easily find the nutrition facts they need.
In addition, ALDI introduced Healthier
Checklanes in all its stores to reduce
the temptation to pick up not-so-healthy
foods at checkout.
“We replaced the usual impulse treats
like candy and chocolate with single
serve nuts and trail mixes, dried fruits and
granola bars,” Patton says.
ALDI shoppers have embraced
the retailer’s commitment to health
and wellness, resulting in what Patton
describes as “strong sales growth”
across those product lines.
“ALDI became one of the nation’s
favorite and fastest-growing retailers by
giving people the premium food they
want at affordable prices. We constantly
improve the nutrition in our products
so healthy, delicious choices are more
available,” Patton says.