s supermarkets continue to seek a competitive edge against Amazon, big box retailers,
convenience channels and more, the natural
and organic health, wellness and beauty sector presents a tremendous opportunity for differentiation.
Offering variety in these categories, supported by knowledgeable staff, may be the secret of success.
“The proactive 21st century grocery store plays a key
role in the decision-making of healthy shoppers, and
even more so as they continue to seek natural and organic
health, beauty and wellness merchandise,” says Mark
Mechelse, director of research, industry insights and
communications for the Global Market Development
Center (GMDC) in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Today’s grocery store, says Mechelse, is at the heart of
consumer welfare: “the source of everyday sustenance,
self-care and homekeeping.”
Featuring insights from The Kroger Co. and natural
products producer Olbas Herbal Remedies of Philadel-
phia, a recent GMDC report, Health & Wellness Best
Practices: Why Natural and Organic Products Matter
to the Health-Minded Shopper, explores the growth in
herbal health supplements, as well as natural and organic
health, beauty and wellness products.
The Economics of Natural
General grocery retailers can expect to see a 2.3% share
point loss from 2014 to 2019 if they allow specialty retailers to maintain a firm grip on natural and organic products, warns GMDC. That loss is not insignificant in a $3.4
trillion global wellness market.
Wellness-minded stores such as Kroger are strategically placing natural and proactive products next to their
conventional ones, according to customer trends and
store metrics, enabling their customers to evaluate the
full scope of wellness options.
Kristen Crockett, Kroger category manager of supplements, pays close attention to industry trends as she
targets “highly engaged natural foods customers” when
selecting her varied assortment of proactive health and
“The more aware that shoppers become of the impacts
their personal products have on their health, the more
strategic their consumer habits become,” she says.
Consumers increasingly look to partnering with the
grocery store for a better future. What were once considered progressive choices are now expected to be found
readily and affordably alongside mainstream products,
because shoppers want to know that their local supermarket supports their health-minded preferences.
“With 48 million consumers over the age of 65 (
growing at 3.4% year over year) and 74% of consumers using
vitamins to promote their health condition, a health and
wellness mindset is not a niche anymore,” says Mechelse.
Pharmacists, Dietitians and Beauty Experts
According to recent studies by GMDC partners, shoppers trust their pharmacist’s advice more than their own
Habitat for Health
A competitive mix in natural and organic nonfoods sets
savvy supermarkets apart. By Jennifer Strailey
The proactive 21st century
grocery store plays a key role
in the decision-making of
—Mark Mechelse, GMDC