Moving the needle with health campaigns

Moving the needle with health campaigns

The expectation that food retailers will actively support the health and wellbeing of their customers is growing day by day. And if a retailer is a PLC, it is practically implied that shareholders are expecting them to have a take on health.

Latest figures show that 81% of retailers employ dietitians, with nearly 48% providing leadership positions for these roles. This is fulfilling a real need, with nearly half of customers believing that these dietitians are aiding them to eat more healthily. The same can be said for pharmacists too, particularly when they are in the same store, and where additional services such as health screenings are also available … as well as a selection of healthy recipes too. 

These are core issues that both benefit the customer and bolster credibility for the retailer. However, given we are in a time where retailers are facing unprecedented pressures, does this have any impact on profit? Well YES.. 61% of retailers believe leveraging food and health issues leads to a positive impact on sales and profits, and this has been proven over the last year.

So, what are the options available to highlight the benefits of encouraging healthy eating? You can launch healthy ranges, provide in-store services, or you could rebalance the nutritional compositions of your private label products to reduce the sugar, fat or salt content and increase beneficial nutrients.

To move the needle on health and wellbeing, retailers need a solid versatile solution that can be integrated into their current ecosystem to provide the most cost-effective, high impact intervention.

This starts with, first and foremost, your product data. 

Spoon Guru’s AI technology is able to take your current product data, clean it, enrich it, and on multiple levels determine products that are anything from Vegan, Vegetarian, Low Salt, or Low Sugar, right through to understanding which products support the lowering of cholesterol.

At the very core level, Spoon Guru’s technology has been used to power food discovery across multiple retailers worldwide including Tesco UK, Woolworths Australia, and Jet in the US. We have been able to power both search and filter and dietary zones across these retailer’s websites, so that customers can make informed choices when searching for products that match their dietary, sustainability and lifestyle needs. In fact, we were able to improve Jet’s filter accuracy by 1.8 times, increase click through rates by 3 times and recommend sales by 4.5 times against a similar competitor. 

Recipe discovery shouldn’t be a flash in the pan

While our technology has often been used to power online shopping journeys, it’s also been able to improve the recipe discovery process. For one retailer, we processed 11,000 recipes for them, highlighting ingredient attributes, and categorising the recipes into dietary, allergen and lifestyle needs. Our in-house nutrition experts have tailored each attribute, such as low sugar, to local guidelines and managed to handle unique elements such as how to deal with leftover ingredients from the night before, dealing with real-life customer experience examples. 

A gentle nudge in the right direction

But how can we gently nudge shoppers towards making healthier choices? Spoon Guru currently powers Healthier Swaps for both Tesco and Woolworths. This great intervention is based on behavioural science, and allows customers to make more informed choices during the purchase journey. For example, on the product page they are presented with a number of alternative products that we have calculated to be more healthy and are at a similar price point. Customers can then make an informed decision on whether to switch to the recommended product or not. 

Spoon Guru has had a really positive, demonstrable impact on our online grocery business”

–  Alessandra Belinni, CCO, Tesco

Supporting more complex health campaigns

Our technology and enrichment process can also contribute to a greater level of campaign sophistication. With Schnucks, we created a set of complex nutrition rules to identify 5,000 products that met a predetermined criteria for what was to be considered ‘Good For You’.  This product list fed in a wider marketing and loyalty programme that ultimately rewards Schucks’ customers for making healthier choices. The campaign has been so successful that 20% of the annual target for sign-ups was achieved in the first two weeks. It also raises awareness on a real issue in the region, and highlights Schucks’ efforts to try and tackle the issues surrounding healthy eating head on. 

At Albert Heijn, having the correct product information allows ranging and planning managers to carefully review layouts to ensure that they are meeting a range of profitability and choices needs, as well as maximising on the actual wants of the customer. Vegan product offers are maximised in layouts where there is high demand, and these products are easily signposted at the shelf edge making it easier for customers to select what they need. It also allows Albert Heijn to make experiments on new product lines, where they have a richer understanding of product information to support these decisions.

Health, allergen, lifestyle and sustainability needs are becoming basic expectations for customers, meeting these needs and creating credible, worthwhile and supporting intervention is where we can help.

Read more success stories in our Case Studies here


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Max Saban
Senior Product Owner