Grocery practices have been put under the microscope when it comes to promoting unhealthy foods, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimating that more than 340 million children and adolescents around the world are obese. The leading cause of this is overeating and the consumption of unhealthy drinks and snacks.

Many people see the responsibility to reduce these figures lying with grocery stores. The positioning of sugary treats around a grocery store has been a particular talking point for retailers and commentators for well over a decade.

Supermarkets have responded to criticism and consumer demand by slowly nudging away from traditional impulse buy tactics, such as having unhealthy snacks located by the tills.

Indeed, recent years have seen the widespread action of offering free fruit for young customers – for instance, Tesco in the UK. These fruit stands are placed in high footfall areas across a store, helping placate hungry children with healthier options rather than sweets. In this way, children’s familiarity with healthy options as a treat is increased – which can change their consumption behavior in the long term.

These practices are certainly encouraging. But what more can the grocery retail industry do to promote healthy habits amongst shoppers?

The role of loyalty

It’s true that grocers have a leading part to play in encouraging healthier choices. And it’s also true there is an opportunity for many to do better when it comes to the placement of less healthy items. For supermarkets themselves, there is an effective tool to use that can affect behavioral change in memorable ways that shoppers enjoy: loyalty programmes.

Biedronka, Poland’s leading hypermarket chain, has had success in encouraging children to eat more fruit and vegetables through the Goodness Gang – a campaign created by tcc that centres on a colourful cast of plush fruit and vegetable toys. Attaching this sense of fun and joy to healthy food can bring it to life in the minds of children, increasing their familiarity with healthy ingredients and their willingness to try new things.

But loyalty campaigns don’t only have to involve rewarding children with plush toys. That’s where technology comes in. As the current pandemic has reduced people’s trips instore, technology has helped grocers continue to connect with shoppers.

In-app gamified content, that exists coherently within a wider omnichannel loyalty platform, is one way to continue encouraging healthy eating. And it allows shoppers to engage with retailers, even when they are at home.

Utilising an omnichannel loyalty approach, spanning multiple touchpoints, is the most effective way to create long-term behaviour change. By using a mix of instore activations and mobile apps, such as Goodness Gang Go created by tcc for Lidl Ireland, the healthy eating message is being communicated both in the store and at home.

A world first in loyalty

Building effective omnichannel campaigns that encourage shoppers to make healthier choices is one of our key priorities. That’s why, last week, we launched the tcc Campaign Portal – a new, exclusive digital platform, built and operated by tcc. It allows us to work with our retail partners in a fully collaborative, interactive, virtual environment.

Retail partners using the tcc Campaign Portal will have the most comprehensive view of the inputs and outcomes of their loyalty activities than ever before. They will be able to design a campaign in one place, alongside loyalty specialists from tcc, to create a true 360 campaign that considers shopper insights, instore design and activation, as well as in-app gamified content.

The remote collaboration this provides, and the ability to incorporate deep insights from an early stage, is crucial when creating loyalty campaigns that encourage healthy behaviours.

What’s more, the tcc Campaign Portal allows grocery retailers to explore instore activations in a fully functional 3D store environment – a world first in loyalty campaign design. From point of sale to banners and campaign displays, our retail partners will be able to explore how a campaign inhabits their stores from every angle.

Arrange your session today

The only way to secure your session in the tcc Campaign Portal, and to see the advantages it can bring to your loyalty campaigns, is by contacting your local tcc team.

Get in touch with your local sales representative now, or find the contact details for your local market office here.