Retail Dietitians Take Spotlight In Mission For Nutrition 2021 Promotion

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Healthy Family Project is aligning with health-conscious brands and more than 400 retail dietitians at 52 retailers across the U.S. and Canada in the third annual Mission for Nutrition promotion in celebration of National Nutrition Month.

The monthlong digital and shopper-focused program highlights the importance and value of meal planning to make healthy choices with an element that gives back to Feeding America food banks. The program also arms retail dietitians with the tools to celebrate the month with shoppers in a big way.

Results from a late 2020 retail dietitian survey conducted by Healthy Family Project indicated that:

  • 56% of surveyed retail dietitians are able to host a Facebook Live event
  • 67% have an e-newsletter where they can share information with shoppers
  • 90% are able to distribute materials to shoppers
  • and more than 85% have space in-store to showcase information.

This year’s program was created on the basis of these survey results knowing that shopper habits have shifted greatly over the past year.

A physical Mission for Nutrition box was shipped to retail dietitians mid-February, filled with health-focused materials from Healthy Family Project as well as program partners including:

  • Bee Sweet Citrus
  • Crispy Green Crispy Fruit
  • Eat Smart
  • Nature Fresh Farms
  • Pero Family Farms
  • Sage Fruit
  • and RealSweet Sweet Onions.

The shipment included items such as a mini magazine published by Healthy Family Project full of recipe inspiration featuring partner brands and a shopping list to help with recreation of the recipes. The magazine is expected to reach 22,000 shoppers over the course of the month.

An online toolkit guiding retail dietitians on how to host a successful virtual cooking class was created by Julie Harrington, former ShopRite dietitian and Healthy Family Project’s authority on retail dietitians. Harrington based the components on her own successful virtual cooking class series along with feedback from her retail dietitian network.

“As a former retail dietitian and someone deeply connected with this community, I understand the resources and support retail dietitians need to succeed in their role. A lot has shifted in how retail dietitians interact with shoppers during the pandemic,“ Harrington said. “This year’s Mission for Nutrition is geared to help put retail dietitians in the spotlight and reenergize their presence with their shoppers.”

Retail dietitians are encouraged to get creative with the items sent to them through hosting an online cooking class, creating a display or hosting a dry demo and share on social with the hashtag #MissionforNutrition. The Mission for Nutrition website will feature a calendar of virtual cooking classes so consumers can easily find a class during the month-long initiative.

Like in years past, retail dietitians using the hashtag or submitting their events to Healthy Family Project are entered to win a $1,000 continued education scholarship. Past winners have utilized the scholarship to attend retail dietitian-focused trade shows, workshops and conferences.

“Over and over, we are hearing that families are feeling burned out from cooking out home,” Healthy Family Project Vice President Trish James said. “Mission for Nutrition can help by introducing new ways of meal planning to alleviate stress, offer new inspiration and give families tools, like shopping lists and recipes, that make mealtime easier.”

Consumers who visit themissionfornutrition.com can download a free digital copy of the mini magazine, access more than 500 registered dietitian-approved recipes, including many plant-based and flexitarian options, and enter to win an air fryer. Additional weekly giveaways of eco-friendly meal planning tools are set to take place on the Healthy Family Project Instagram account.

Healthy Family Project will also get in on the virtual event action by hosting a Facebook live cooking class with Amanda Keefer and her daughter, Charli, at 3:30 p.m. EST on March 3. Program partners, retail dietitians and influencers will also interact with consumers during the annual #MissionForNutrition Twitter party at 4 p.m. EST on March 11.

Additional marketing efforts around Mission for Nutrition include targeted e-newsletters, influencer outreach and promotion on The Healthy Family Project podcast.

Since it began in 2019, the program has donated 300,000 meals to families in need through Feeding America.

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