The COVID-19 pandemic created substantial challenges and opportunities for businesses, including food retailers, fundamentally changing the way consumers shop for groceries. According to a 2020 survey of executives, the pandemic accelerated companies' digital offerings by seven years. This presents an opportunity for food retailers to capitalize on e-commerce trends, including integration with telehealth, to expand access to nutrition care. The virtual food retail space allows registered dietitian nutritionists to improve public health directly where consumers are making food purchasing and meal planning decisions. However, little data exists to demonstrate the value of these programs.
In 2022, the Academy Foundation led a feasibility study with a food retailer to evaluate an RDN-led Food as Medicine e-commerce program for impact on food purchasing patterns and nutrition-related health outcomes of participants. In this session, the speakers share barriers and facilitators implementing the program as well as recommendations to support RDNs in scaling programs that produce favorable health outcomes and positive return on investment.
CPE Level: Level 2 (intermediate knowledge/experience)
- 9.2.1 Evaluates learning needs of individuals and target groups.
- 11.1.1 Conducts feasibility studies to determine validity of and need for products or services
- 12.1.3 Collaborates with community partners and stakeholders in promoting health and disease prevention.
- Assess the barriers and facilitators of implementing a Food as Medicine program within food retail settings
- Determine how to evaluate the impact of Food as Medicine programs on retailer investment, including shopping patterns measured through basket size, basket composition and customer loyalty
- Determine how to evaluate the impact of Food as Medicine programs on customer dietary patterns and nutrition-related outcomes in patients
- Allison Yoder, MA, RDN, LD
- Stacey Loftus, RD, LD
- Julie Long, MS, MPH, RDN, CLC