Healthy checkouts: impuse buys

07/01/2013 09:40:00 AM
Lynn Morely

If you stock the aisle well, it will be visible to your customers. All you need is a checkout lane, shelves and a beverage cooler. That’s right. The Coca-Cola or Pepsi cooler currently greeting customers as they enter the checkout lane could be your new produce reefer.

Lopez says she’s well within her contract to keep two shelves in the cooler stocked with anything she wants. (As for the rest of the cooler, she stocks only the beverage company’s bottled water.) Lopez often stocks the cooler with fresh-cut produce and yogurt.

If you do have an in-store dietitian, enlist his or her help in choosing healthy and appealing foods from around the store. It can be especially effective if the items are reflective of your ad that week. If it’s not on ad but the dietitian is promoting it for health reasons, be sure to include something from that promotion in your checkout lane. One benefit to partnering with store dietitians is that they measure the return on investment for everything they do, Pivonka says. So you can feel more at ease knowing their recommendations for your healthy checkout lane are in high demand.

If you’re still having reservations, hear this: Healthy checkout lanes do not garner complaints from customers. After all, the empty-calorie treats are just in the next aisle over. But if you have doubts about the lack of decadence in your aisle, turn to the candied nuts, such as glazed or cinnamon-coated. A popular choice for Arteaga’s Food Center is raspberry-honey almonds.

“I think I’m the only store in the area that has a healthy checkout lane,” Lopez says. “Some people think it’s a losing proposition, but it works. If you have more than three checkout lanes, (a dedicated lane) is doable.”

So what’s stopping you from transforming one checkout lane in at least one of your stores?


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