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    Wednesday
    Oct012014

    Giant Eagle: In Stores

    Giant EagleToday, we will discuss Giant Eagle's in store platform characterized by its retail dietitian services. 

    Take a look at these features:

    Services:

    Dietitian Services: Personal Nutritional Counseling, Weight Loss and Diabetes Classes, Store Tours/"Aisle Excursions", and Gluten Free Counseling.

    Newsletter: "Be Well" health and wellness newsletter focused on health and wellness.

    Specialty Pharmacy: Pharmacy tailored for specialty ailments such as cancer or chronic conditions.

    Pharmacy: Typical in store pharmacy with prescription services, counseling, dietitian services, pet medications, Rx home delivery services, contact lenses, and immunizations. 

    NuVal Shelf Labels: Giant Eagle utilizes NuVal health labels. Each label "ranks a food’s overall nutritional value on a scale from 1 to 100 and is featured in a double hexagon design in the top right corner of the tag. The higher the score, the better the nutritional value." 

    Health and Wellness: Giant Eagle stores contain a seperate department entitled "Health and Wellness"; this department offers H&W related goods. 

    As you can see, Giant Eagle offers a solid selection of in store health and wellness features.  Next time, we will explore the online platform.  See you then!

    A Live View Into The Marketplace

    Tuesday
    Sep302014

    Paleo Diet Essentials 

    The Paleo Diet 101

    Would you like to return to your primal instincts, before a time of scales and counting calories, and eat like a caveman? That’s the diet some folks are jumping onboard with in the hopes of weight loss, more energy, and potentially reversing chronic illnesses. The Paleolithic "Paleo" Diet, was first recognized decades ago, but has recently had a dramatic resurgence with Loren Cordain’s bestselling book The Paleo Diet.  

    According to Google Trends, Paleo was the most searched diet of 2013. Its sales growth is set to dwarf that of other natural food trends over the next several years. The diet has broad appeal, from A-list celebrities Megan Fox, Jessica Biel, Matthew McConaughey, to four time MVP Lebron James who used it to drop 10 pounds and enter the 2015 NBA season leaner than ever.

    Add to the celebrity appeal the cult-like following of CrossFit enthusiasts, an exercise movement that strictly follows the Paleo Diet, and one can see why retailers and manufacturers such as alike are taking notice of this food tribe. For instance, Reebok, the major sponsor of the CrossFit Games is capitalizing on this impressive Paleo sales growth through their first foray into the food world with Reebok Bacon.

    The Science behind Paleo

    There are many theories about why our poor health as a nation is reaching epidemic proportions-- 66% of us are overweight, 33% are considered obese, and those numbers are only getting worse. The one that Paleo followers subscribe to is that the evolution of our bodies has not kept pace with that of food science. It’s not a coincidence that many modern diseases of civilization-- including autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and rampant obesity-- have accompanied the global spread of industrialized food. That’s why the Paleo approach emphasizes returning to a more ancestral approach to eating.

    In the past, food was hard to come by and if we got our hands on some it was fresh and natural, both tenants of the Paleo diet. Any excess calories were stored as life sustaining fat, one pound of body fat = 3500 calories. Muscle on the other hand is expensive (no not because your Equinox membership runs 300$/month) I mean from a metabolic perspective, it requires a lot of energy to maintain, and the body’s energy currency is calories.

    The problem is, our bodies never adjusted properly to eating all the grains that we now farm.  As bestselling author of The Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf puts it, “think of a 100-yard football field.  The first 99.5 yards are how long Homo-Sapiens spent as hunter-gatherers. As they became really good at hunting and gathering our bodies adapted to that lifestyle over thousands of years.  That last half-yard represents our species after the agricultural revolution, where our diet has shifted, but our genetics haven’t.”

    Many modern crash dieting techniques are interpreted by our bodies as periods of starvation. As we are evolutionarily programmed for survival not beach season, they will not simply shed life sustaining fat; they will do the opposite and get rid of expensive excess muscle. The Paleo diet intends to combat this typical crash dieting process which leads to indiscriminate weight loss by outlining a sustainable healthy diet and lifestyle. Now let’s dig into the nuts and bolts, how exactly does one eat like a caveman?

    The Paleo Diet is an effort to eat like we used to back in the day…WAY back in the day.  If a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither can you. This means anything we could hunt or find – meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, seeds, healthy fats and some fruits. Sorry, the sugar, junk food snacks, grains, dairy, legumes/beans, and alcohol will have to go!

    “Eating a Paleolithic diet is not about historical re-enactment,” John Durant writes in his book The Paleo Manifesto. “It is about mimicking the effect of such a diet on the metabolism with foods available at the supermarket.” According to this way of thinking, our metabolism was designed to deal with foods that approximate wild game and foraged plants. It wasn’t designed to deal with toast.

    The list of benefits is extensive and primarily focuses on reducing your risk for major diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.  Some evidence has also shown success in slowing or reducing the progression of some autoimmune diseases. Additional benefits have been touted as losing weight, improving sleep, improving or eliminating acne, increasing libido, increasing energy, and having overall better mental clarity.

    More recently the Paleo trend has expanded from just focusing on eating habits to applying these Neanderthal ways as an all-encompassing lifestyle.  This more holistic lifestyle approach could include wearing amber goggles while on your smartphone after 7pm; concerned that the blue light emitted from your phone causes disruptions in your natural sleep patterns.

    The Paleo Diet is certainly not without its critics though. There is some debate over the diet itself, but also it’s long-term environmental implications. The high consumption of animal proteins has triggered push back from some groups due to the taxing impact this could have on the environment. Some also argue that when avoiding foods such as dairy products, beans, and grains that the diet is missing out on important vitamins and minerals.

    “Food taboos are known from virtually all human societies,” a survey that ran a few years ago in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine observed. Such taboos must fulfill some deep—you might even say primal—human need. And this may be the best way to understand the paleo diet: as a set of food prohibitions for the Internet age.

    How LabelINSIGHT Can Help!

    Introducing the Paleo Attribute: Many products have capitalized on the popularity of the Paleo diet by adding a Paleo marketing claim to their packaging. However not all product position themselves this way but are still acceptable foods for this food tribe to eat. For this reasons LabelINSIGHT is proud to debut the ability to not only search and filter by which foods advertise as being Paleo but also all others that meet the stringent Paleo criteria.

    Our Nutritional Data Analyst Yisi Wang, RD, LD, MS explains how this is achieved; “We take our understanding of the commonly accepted tenants of the Paleo diet and translate this knowledge into our database language. Starting with our database of over 150,000 products we then eliminated any that contain the following banned ingredients: sugar and artificial sweeteners/flavors, grains and flours (including other off limit carbohydrates such as white potatoes), legumes/beans (including all soy products), dairy, refined vegetable oils, alcohol, etc.”

    Preparation for the Paleo Diet: The key to success with any diet is preparation. Self-control is a myth. Plan ahead! Clean out your pantry. Packaged foods have labels informing you ingredients, nutritive properties, allergen warnings and more. LabelINSIGHT captures, organizes and interprets this often confusing information ensuring you stay on track. Create shopping lists and receive dietary based product recommendations based on your custom Paleo diet. Easily avoid banned ingredients and products through LabelINSIGHT’s intuitive search and filter features.

    Maintain a Balanced Diet: Make sure you eat other foods that provide the same nutrients as those you're avoiding. Use LabelINSIGHT to create a shopping list so that your kitchen is stocked with alternatives that provide the nutrients required for a healthy diet. This will ensure that you are well nourished while avoiding your list of now-forbidden foods.

    Find Paleo Friendly Brands: Use LabelINSIGHT to access our database of over 150,000 products. Compare brands side by side with 10,000+ unique product attributes to see which ones fit into your new diet.

    Create a Social Support Network: Share insights about your progress on the Paleo diet, including interesting alternative products and recipes with friends using LabelINSIGHT's collaboration tool.  A Live View Into The Marketplace

    Tuesday
    Sep302014

    Giant Eagle: Mobile App

    Giant EagleGiant Eagle offers a Mobile App with extensive health and wellness features!

    Check them out:

    Giant Eagle Advantage Card: "Register your card with the app for a digital version that can be used in full-service checkout lanes. A Giant Eagle® cashier will scan your phone at checkout."

    Weekly Sale: "Quickly and easily view, sort and add weekly sale items to your shopping list, right from your phone.

 Weekly sales items are automatically updated for convenient, on-the-go shopping."

    eOffers: "Browse and “clip” eOffers (our digital coupons) to add them to the digital and physical versions of your Giant Eagle Advantage Card®."

    My Perks: "View your fuelperks!® and Beverage Club balances and check your progress toward rewards. You’ll always know when your fuelperks® are due to expire!"

    Shopping List: "Plan your next shopping trip and save time with our easy-to-use Shopping List feature. Access your lists at home or in the store on your mobile phone. Your lists will sync across the Giant Eagle app and GiantEagle.com."

    Recipes: "Search our extensive library of recipes, suitable for any meal, course or special occasion."

    Shopping History: "View past shopping trip amounts and savings, and add previously purchased items to your shopping list."

    Store Information: "Quickly find the Giant Eagle store nearest you, along with hours, weekly sales, contact information and details on new locations."

    My Account: "Easily create and manage your Giant Eagle account. Your Giant Eagle app and GiantEagle.com accounts will sync, saving everything at your fingertips for easy access, whether you’re at home or on the go!

 Now, you can use the app to opt-in to our Digital Receipt program."

    Pharmacy: "Providing Giant Eagle® customers with convenient access to their prescriptions has always been our priority. Now, the Giant Eagle® app makes managing those prescriptions easier than ever. Customers can perform a variety of pharmacy-related tasks, including refilling, transferring, and managing prescriptions."

    Tomorrow, we will analyze Giant Eagle's in-store platform. See you then!

    A Live View Into The Marketplace

    Monday
    Sep292014

    This Week: Giant Eagle

    Giant EagleHey readers!

    This week we’re going to take a look at Giant Eagle's online, in-store and mobile application platforms - in terms of health and wellness.

    Each day we will cover one platform and include a list and brief description of the features it provides.

    Tomorrow, we will go over the Mobile Platform.

    A Live View Into The Marketplace

    Monday
    Sep292014

    Cereal Live View Wrap-Up

    We hope that you enjoyed our “Live View into the Cereal Shelf.” Users can create their own insights using the LabelINSIGHT platform or work with the FoodEssentials team to create your own unique content (like this Cereal Live View) by contacting us at info@foodessentials.com. If you have suggestions for a Live View please leave a comment in the comment section.

    A Live View Into The Marketplace

    Friday
    Sep262014

    King Kullen: A Summary 

    King KullenKing Kullen offers some health and wellness functionality throughout its two platforms; however, it could improve drastically.

    Here are some ideas:

    Localize Online Shopping: King Kullen should consider developing its own product database and online shopping outlet rather than utilizing an intermediary.

    Product Database: King Kullen should consider developing its own online product database that presents structured product data, perhaps in the form of attributes (low fat, gluten free, contains nuts, etc.). The product database could connect with and add expansivity to the mobile platform, once that is created. It could, also, be utilized in numerous initiatives, such as attribute based shelf tags beyond what nuval provides.

    In Store Dietitians: Other major grocers like Hy-Vee employ retail dietitians that serve a range of customer needs including dietary consultation, store tours and health screenings. 

    Mobile App: Retailers like Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods, ShopRite, and Hy-Vee incorporate mobile apps in their marketing plan, for mobile apps streamline the consumer shopping experience.

    Advanced Virtual Features: Articles, Videos, Podcasts, Product Lists, Product Database, Product View, Etc.

    Dietary Needs: Online resources should include information on special diets.

    Recipe Filtration: Users should have the option to filter recipes based on product attributes; this would requore a product database.

    Classes/Presentations: Health and Wellness classes/presentations in stores. 

    Health Screenings: In store health screenings. 

    Health Based Rewards Program: Discounts/rewards for healthy shoppers/healthy foods.

    As retailers look for ways to evolve and respond to ever-changing consumer demands, a complete and robust product database presents itself as a necessity rather than a luxury. Retailers that have a complete and up-to-date product database, one that is encompassing of every product's ingredients, nutritional information, as well as certification and marketing claim attributes, find themselves in a place to be proactive - in a position to win in the marketplace. Knowing what is happening today places you in a better position tomorrow.

    Be sure to tune in next week!

    A Live View Into The Marketplace

    Friday
    Sep262014

    High Protein and Weight Loss Cereals and the Gluten Free Cereal Landscape

    Information from FoodEssentials LabelINSIGHT platform indicate that High Protein brands edge out Weight Loss brands with regards to Heart Healthy, Low Fat, and unsurprisingly Good Plus Protein. This is positive news to the growing number of customers looking for increased protein.

    Lastly, the cereal landscape, which shows the gluten offerings of ten cereal producers, illustrates that there are roughly three categories of cereal producers. First, there are small companies solely or largely focused on gluten-free offerings (Bakery on Main and Glutenfreeda plus General Mill’s Chex brand who produce 8 cereals- 7 of which are gluten-free). Second, there are medium-sized companies such as Nature’s Path and Bob’s Red Mill which have a wide range of gluten cereals. Lastly, there are the larger cereal manufacturers (Kellogg’s, Malt-O-Meal, Quaker, and Roundy’s), which have none, or very few, gluten cereals among their large list of cereals.

    A Live View Into The Marketplace

    Friday
    Sep262014

    Food by the Numbers

    100+: Number of descriptive terms in a honey flavor wheel created by the University of California, Davis. Using a panel of around 20 tasters including food chemists, beekeepers, supertasters, and honey enthusiasts, the team was able to create the wheel to categorize the many unique tastes of honey.

    3:1: Ratio of parents of school-age children who support strong national nutrition standards for food and beverages sold to students during school according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Heart Association. The report coincides with the Department of Agriculture’s implementation of “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards, the first guidelines update in 30 years.

    1,638,093: Number of person-years, covering 65,215 women, from 1991 to 2009 that were part of a research project at Brigham and Women’s Hospital that found that consuming two or more servings of fish per week was associated with a reduced risk of hearing loss for women.

    15 tons: Amount of coconut product packaged daily by Trailblazer Foods over a ten-week period beginning in July. The Food Navigator article highlights FoodEssentials LabelINSIGHT data to bring clarity to the surging coconut market – such as noting that coconut oil is the most popular form of coconut used in CPG products.

    $300 billion: Growth opportunity outside of North America from 2014-2020 for non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink beverages according to Coca-Cola. Ahmet Bozer, executive VP of Coca-Cola, estimates that half the world’s population has consumed a Coke in the last 30 days

    100 grams/daily: The amount of protein consumed by the high protein group in research conducted by Boston University School of Medicine which found this high protein group had a 40% lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to those with low protein intake.

    20%: Decrease in the price of dairy products according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization report on the global food price index. Overall, the index is at its lowest level in four years, with decreases in almost all categories with the exception of beef.

    1,000 days: Window, beginning at conception, that is the most important time for obtaining appropriate levels of Vitamin E according to Maret Traber, a professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University. The study discusses varying views regarding the need of Vitamin E and highlights the fact that 90% of men and 96% of women likely do not consumer the suggested amount of Vitamin E.

    10%: Amount of children aged 12-19 who exceed the suggested Health Canada maximum caffeine intake level for their age group in a given day according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study also found that caffeine consumption has declined among children from 2001-2010.

    54%: Amount of the increased risk from smoking in developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) due to the interaction with sodium intake according to a study in the journal Rheumatology.

    Friday
    Sep262014

    Food by the Numbers

    10-12%: Increase in front-end grocery sales when Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley installed LED lights in check-out displays. The bright displays were the result of studies that showed that 59% of shoppers did not think about or notice the displays in check-out lanes. It is believed the LED lights bring focus to the displays and increase impulse purchases.

    0: Idealized amount of packaging on a new line of yogurt treats marketed by Stoneyfield’s. WikiFoods is producing an edible skin for yogurt balls (WikiPearls) in an effort to reduce waste associated with packaging. Currently, the product, which is available for sale in select northeastern Whole Foods, does utilize packaging; however, it is hoped that consumers will soon be ready for a non-packaged product.

    5x: Increased risk of autism for mothers 35 or older who have both low iron intake and suffer from metabolic conditions such as obesity, hypertension, or diabetes according to the University of California – Davis Health Systems. The study, published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, also found mothers that have children with autism were less likely to report taking iron supplements before and during pregnancy.

    ¼: Amount of the world’s hazelnut crop yield purchased by Nutella, the Italian producer of the famous chocolate-hazelnut spread. Nutella’s popularity has resulted in geographic growth of the hazelnut crop, particularly after a large frost in Turkey (the primary growing region) and the spread of Eastern Filbert Blight, a disease caused by a fungus that has decimated much of the hazelnut crop. Interestingly, some North American hazelnuts have been able withstand the Blight while European hazelnuts have not – leading to growth in unexpected areas such as Rutgers University research labs in New Jersey.

    4: Groups of diet and exercise regimes tested in a University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine study which found combing aerobic exercise with resistance training best addressed childhood obesity.

    20%: Voluntary commitment made by the Coca Cola Co., The Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and Pepsi Co to reduce the average calories consumed by consumers through soft drinks. The move was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York and the decrease, according to the soda manufacturers, will come from promoting diet sodas and bottled water.

    85%: Increased likelihood of consuming vegetables in school for children in Vancouver that had parents with post-secondary education according to research by the University of British Columbia. These student were also 67% less likely to consume sugary drinks it school. This may suggest increased mental health wellbeing for these students as research from the University of Warwick found 33.5% of those reporting mental wellbeing consumed 5 or more daily portions of fruits and vegetables while only 6.8% of those reporting mental wellbeing consumed one or less portions per day.

    1/3: Amount of food supermarkets and restaurants serve that is never consumed. 10% of food is wasted at the retail level according to the US Department of Agriculture, while 20% is wasted at home. The total value of this food is $160 billion. Grocers struggle to reduce their waste as consumer preferences drive stores to keep displays of ideal products. Prepared meals are another area of significant waste.

    14%: Increase in shopper visits to Dollar Stores in the quarter which ended in July. This increase occurred despite a 4% decrease in physical retail traffic overall.

    $75,000: Income of specialty foods core consumers, who are aged 18-44 and more likely to be female according to Specialty Food Association and Mintel International. Millennials are said to be driving the specialty food market, which is expected to grow at an 8% rate this year.

    Thursday
    Sep252014

    Marketing Claims by Cereal Category

    Looking at kids cereals, granola cereals, oatmeals and gluten-free cereals, it is clear that the marketing claims vary by segment. Only 4 claims are made by more than half of cereals in any one category (whole grain for granola and oatmeal, and organic and gluten-free in gluten-free cereals) and only two claims (the two most common cereal marketing claims), Whole Grain and Made in USA, are a top 5 claim for all categories.

    Gluten-free cereals may be a growth segment due to changing dietary trends; however, LabelINSIGHT data shows that gluten-free cereal trails its gluten containing cereal counterparts in the three nutritive attributes of Heart Healthy, Good Plus Fiber, and Excellent Iron.

    A Live View Into The Marketplace