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Healthy food options emphasized at CVS.


WOONSOCKET, R.I. -- CVS Health is deploying its expanded assortment of healthier food and beverages to more than 2,900 stores across the nation. The assortment was piloted in an initial 500 locations last year.

CVS is now implementing the expanded healthy food offerings in 100 stores each week through the end of the year. The selection--which includes such brands as Kashi, Cascadian Farms, Amy's Kitchen, Annie's Homegrown, Chobani, Vita CoCo, Bai, Krave Jerky, Rhythm Superfoods, That's it bars and CVS Pharmacy's own exclusive brand Gold Emblem--has been carefully designed to make healthier eating on the go more convenient and affordable.

According to CVS, the broader deployment is a critical step as the company repositions itself as a premier health destination in the wake of its decision to stop offering tobacco and tobacco-related products. That bold decision resulted in the loss of approximately $2 billion in front-end revenues annually. At least as important, it also meant reduced customer traffic.

"Since becoming the first and only national pharmacy chain to end the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products, the No. 1 thing we've heard from our customers is the desire for healthier food options," says Judy Sansone, senior vice president of front-store business and chief merchant at CVS Pharmacy. "This year, we are continuing to expand the assortment, volume and shelf space dedicated to better-for-you foods and snacks offered in our stores nationwide to make healthier snacking easier and more convenient for our customers."

Starting this summer, about 25% of the front checkout space that has traditionally been dedicated to candy in CVS Pharmacy outlets will be allocated to better-for-you snacks, including Kind bars, Larabars and Vega One bars.

In addition, certain select CVS Pharmacy locations are featuring assortments of niche products in healthy eating trend zones focusing on paleo, raw and vegan dietary options. For instance, initial paleo displays include Epic 100% grass-fed bison bars and Gold Emblem abound organic black chia seeds.

Throughout this summer, raw food items are being showcased, including such products as Go Raw bars, Emmy's Organics and Two Moms in the Raw. In the autumn, the focus will shift to vegan, with Larabar Bites, Kashi Teff Thin Crackers and GimMe Health Food Seaweed Snacks taking the spotlight.

The healthier food assortments are being supported by a variety of marketing tactics. Personalized email offers and healthy deals of the week provide customers with reminders that healthier choices can be affordable.

Additionally, CVS' Fit Choices shelf-tagging program makes it easier for customers to find healthier items in-store by clearly identifying food items that fit certain nutritional and dietary preferences. Categories include good source of protein, heart healthy, gluten free, sugar free, organic and non-gmo project verified.

In addition to the 2,900 stores that are receiving the expanded assortment of healthy food, another 360 stores will receive additional enhancements to the layout of food, beauty and over-the-counter health products. The new layouts feature a broader assortment of better-for-you food products in an expanded refrigerated section as well as more prominent displays of healthy food and grab-and-go snacks, making healthy snacking more convenient.

"One of the big changes in 2015 was to start to represent healthy food in a bigger way, " Sansone said in an interview early this year. "We're now highlighting healthy food, as well as beauty care, in places where they are immediately apparent as customers walk into the store."
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Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Jul 25, 2016
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