Dollar General Shifts Focus to Healthy

The discount retailer is redoing its food offerings to meet demand for healthier items.

December 07, 2018

NEW YORK – Dollar General wants to be healthier, and to that end, the discount retailer is adding about 125 “better for you” items in 2,700 U.S. locations, CNN Business reports. The new products are under the retailer’s Good & Smart private-label brand.

This week, the company announced the program had outperformed expectations and would be rolled out at additional locations in 2019. Dollar General started adding the healthier choices after hearing from customers searching for affordable foods low in calories, salt, fat and sugar or lacking artificial sweeteners. “These types of healthy food options seemed out of reach,” said, Jason Reiser, chief merchandising officer.

Dollar General says it will continue to keep an eye on its core customer who wants access to bargains. “Our core customer is always a little bit behind the curve,” said Todd Vasos, CEO for the chain. “Better-for-you is starting to emerge as a trend.”

The healthier snacks support its strategy to offer fresh produce and foods. Dollar General also indicated it would begin stocking meat and produce at rural and urban food desert locations as traffic drivers. By the end of 2018, 450 stores will have the fresh grocery items, with the program expanding to 200 more stores in 2019.

In the meantime, Dollar General also announced plans for 975 new stores in 2019, plus a remodeling of 1,000 and a relocation of 100 stores, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We intentionally develop these additional formats to be able to move into certain demographics across the U.S. where a one-size-fits-all mentality is really not the way to be productive and to make the most of your real estate portfolio,” Vasos said during an analyst conference call.