More and more shoppers are embracing food as medicine, and consequently heading to local grocery stores to meet their health and wellness needs.
Food-as-medicine is not a groundbreaking idea; the concept can be documented as far back as the Ancient Greeks (the famous quote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” can be attributed to Hippocrates). But until recently food-as-medicine has been more of a “fringe” idea than mainstream. While the public’s faith in traditional medical institutions and treatments has crumbled and healthcare costs have continued to rise, shoppers have renewed their interest in the idea. As a result, the functional food and beverage space is exploding. And in the last year, health and wellness spending at grocery has started to rival mass and drug expenditures.
The food-as-medicine lifestyle encompasses more than increased organic and natural options. In response to growing shopper interest, grocery stores are adapting in innovative ways. They’re redesigning the grocery retail experience to accommodate wellness services and support, and playing an active role in shopper health management.