Why Grocery Stores Are Employing More Dietitians Than Ever

There's a direct correlation between the food we eat and how healthy we are, but the overwhelming amount of information and recommendations coming at us can make it hard to know what healthy food options benefit each individual. It's easy to get off track with a diet plan when facing aisle after aisle of options at the store. There might be a simpler solution now that grocers have started employing in-house registered dietitians (RD) and registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN), who Food Network says can help with everything from a quick question to deciphering a personalized diet plan while you're knocking out your grocery list.

Eat Right highlights the benefits of consulting with a trained and accredited RDN to detail a plan that is specific to your health goals. Registered dietitians can advise people suffering from chronic diseases, gut health issues, food allergies, or who need a specialized diet. They also offer helpful guidance to consumers who want to gain or lose weight, understand food labels, or simply learn to cook healthier foods. Better yet, you'll be talking with a real person who didn't get their degree from Google University.

Grocery stores are catching on to shoppers' increased need for assistance when navigating food choices. Food Network says that some stores have an RDN available in-store, while others highlight healthy picks from their corporate-level nutritionist on the shelves. More extensive consultations require a fee, but many of the services they offer are free.

Grocery store dietitians offer many benefits

Since the pandemic's start, there has been an increased consumer interest in improving health and well-being through diet, and Grocery Dive states that food retailers have noticed as they expand their available nutritional services. According to a Food Industry Association survey (via Grocery Dive), services provided by RDNs are available at 81% of grocery stores, either virtually, in-store, or by curating food options at the corporate level; results show an added benefit to shoppers, employees, and stores.

Consumers can consult with a grocery store RDN to create a shopping list, manage specialized dietary needs based on health conditions and goals, find healthy recipes, and connect to resources and classes as needed. Nutritionists are available in-store and virtually to help shoppers navigate each aisle. Survey results show that when stores provide nutritional services from a registered professional, shoppers begin to see their local grocer as less of a simple food shop and more of a health and wellness shopping destination.

Many grocers offer employees the same nutritional services that are available to customers, investing in the health and happiness of their own workers as well. Nutritional services are proving to be good for everyone's bottom line, as 61% of retailers said that linking food to improved health increased sales and profits in 2021. Next time you're feeling overwhelmed at the grocery store, see if there's a friendly dietitian to help you reach your food and health goals.