If your business has yet to jump on the healthy, wholesome food bandwagon, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
“Obesity is the greatest crisis we’ve ever faced,” said NACS Show Opening General Session keynote speaker journalist David H. Freedman. “Obesity every single day kills twice as many people as Ebola. Every single day. And it’s getting worse.”
Unfortunately, the media tends to point its fickle finger at the chips, churros and corn dogs offered at most convenience stores. “It’s not your fault,” Freedman said. “Now, do you all have to become fruit and vegetable stands to make the American public healthy? I don’t think so.”
The average consumer tends to turn to convenience stores for fast food, and health addicts shy from the food aisles of convenience stores. “The healthy eaters won’t buy it from you,” Freedman said. “They don’t trust you.”
But they will, given time and education, he argued. “They want to go to Whole Foods because they think it’s healthier,” Freedman said. “But go over to 7-Eleven and you can get a chef’s salad or a turkey and Swiss on whole wheat bread. And, you are in and out in five minutes, compared to 30 at Whole Foods.”
The fight against obesity is still very young. “It won’t be overnight, but people will get it and want healthier food, and that leaves you in the cold if you aren’t prepared,” Freedman said. Timing is everything. “If you wait too long, they won’t turn to you when they get it,” he said. “Your customer will defect if you don’t show them you have healthy options and start to win that reputation.”
He told retailers to stock what has traditionally worked in their stores, but begin to add healthy options.
“You can become a hub of healthy eating,” he said.