Retailers tie in to healthy resolutions

Supermarket News, January 3, 2017

Now that the season of holiday feasting is winding down, food retailers are seeking to capitalize on consumers’ resolutions to eat healthier in the new year. Sandy Skrovan, a retail consultant based in Columbus, Ohio, said anything food retailers can do to promote tie-ins with healthy New Year’s resolutions “is an excellent idea.”

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult for retailers to compete on factors like price, selection and convenience,” she told SN. “They need to bring more value-add and solutions to the table, and the ‘healthy’ promotions should resonate well with shopper expectations.”

Consumers appear to be “expanding their grocery decision set to include more values-based factors,” Skrovan explained. “They’re asking questions such as, ‘Is it healthy, and how is it processed?’

“It’s this type of values-oriented shopping that is propelling retailers to up their games. Using social media to create awareness and spread the word in a quick and timely manner — to coincide with New Year’s resolutions — is smart marketing.”

Read more:

Two-level Market District, restaurant opens in Columbus

Supermarket News, August 18, 2016

“It’s a beautiful store,” Sandy Skrovan, a Columbus-based retail consultant and director of, told SN. “They did a good job with the design. I anticipate the tailored assortment, mix of grocery staples, fresh/prepared foods and grab-and-go will well serve the surrounding urban-oriented ‘walking’ community, a mix of local residents and college students.”

[…] According to Skrovan, Giant Eagle appears to have merchandised to the store to local tastes, with a large variety of prepared foods to go serving students, as well as a heavy mix of kosher items that should appeal to Bexley’s large Jewish community.

[…] Skrovan said she felt the store compared favorably with full-scale Market District stores in the Columbus area that are more three times its size, but expressed some reservations about whether the unique layout and space constraints would facilitate full shopping trips at peak shopping times. “You could do your full shop there, you just don’t have the variety and pack sizes that the larger stores do,” she said.

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Free-From gets social

Supermarket News, April 14, 2016

“There is mounting evidence that shoppers want to know more about the food they consume, and they’re turning to technology — for  example,  blogs, social media and mobile apps — for help,” said Sandy Skrovan, founder and research director of

“When you’re dealing with food allergies, due diligence must be conducted on products, ingredients and related manufacturing and processing practices or else serious health risks come into play,” she said. “Fortunately, there are a growing number of reliable and credible food information sources accessible these days via the Internet or smartphones that make grocery shopping and eating out more manageable for food allergy sufferers.” […]

Skrovan of Gluten Free Retail HQ notes that retailers and manufacturers have an opportunity to “push” relevant information out to consumers via social media.

“Gluten-free shoppers and other food allergy sufferers are hungry for information,” she said. “They want and appreciate accurate and candid answers about products, especially when their health is involved. Anything retailers and brand marketers can do to increase product transparency and provide more allergen information is welcome.”

Skrovan also noted that the real-time aspect of social media is important for consumers seeking information about allergens during the shopping experience, and it is also important for retailers and suppliers to bear in mind. A consumer might share a negative experience on social media that could be picked up in an instant by thousands of other customers.

“Shoppers with celiac disease, gluten sensitivities and other food allergies are extremely engaged via digital and social means,” she said. “Consumer sharing of information – whether product safety issues, product recalls, or sharing stories about allergic reactions – happens at the speed of light.”

“Both good and bad news spreads quickly amongst the allergen-free communities. Retailers and brand marketers obviously want to end up on the good side of the equation – so being proactive and forthcoming about product information and news through social media is paramount.”