ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Calculating Healthy Choices,” NACS hosts Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, and Stephanie Sikorski, vice president of marketing, discuss how convenience stores can be part of the solution to the obesity epidemic through strategic partnerships and healthier options.
Amaris Bradley, director of partnerships for the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), works with convenience stores, distributors and others to create conduits for healthy options. “[Our work] involves bringing more healthy options in stores and on shelves,” she said. PHA also works with retailers to incentivize those healthier choices to entice more customers to purchase those options. Her group also offers marketing and placement strategies to assist at the store level.
To determine whether a product falls into the healthy category or not, PHA and NACS developed an online NACS PHA Healthier Product Calculator. The calculator is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which were released in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. By entering some key information from the packaging, retailers or consumers can find out how healthy the item is.
“Our whole mission is focused on helping Americans lead healthier lives so that we can ultimately turn the tide on the obesity epidemic across all age groups,” Bradley said. “We’ve been encouraged by some positive movements in the right direction, such as rates improving among younger demographics, but we have plenty of work ahead of us. … We wouldn’t be able to make any progress on the issue without the partnerships we have because every business can play a meaningful rule in reducing obesity.”
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The weekly podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 39,000 times in more than 95 countries.