Sobeys Inc. is on a mission to inspire and empower Canadians to eat healthier, with fresh produce at the heart of programs including revamped product assortments and a partnership with a celebrity chef.
Doug Brummer, senior vice president of marketing for Sobeys, said the chain, which has more than 1,500 stores across 10 provinces, is just beginning its efforts to develop a variety of “signature fresh product programs.”
Results of market research conducted by the Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based chain spurred the action. Almost three out of four respondents — 73% — told the researchers they want to begin eating better than they have been.
“We recognize the needs of our customers are changing and so we’re embarking on a journey to better meet those needs at Sobeys stores,” president and chief executive officer Marc Poulin said in a news release.
Some changes are already in place in produce departments at the chain’s retail banners, which include Sobeys, IGA, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, FreshCo and Price Chopper.
“In the produce department, we’ve started with a few programs,” Brummer said.
“Tomatoes grouped by sweetness, potatoes displayed by usage and a guaranteed-ripe avocado program. But that’s just the beginning. As we continue on our journey to bring better food to Canadians, additional programs and promotions will be revealed.”
Another key element in the retailer’s work to inspire and educate consumers about healthy eating habits is a partnership with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
Oliver is known as an advocate for healthy food and will work with Sobeys to raise awareness about balanced nutrition, quality ingredients and fresh foods.
Oliver has been encouraging people to eat healthier for 15 years via books, an Emmy-winning television series and his global charity, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
The foundation created Food Revolution Day two years ago as a catalyst for global action for what the chef calls “real food.”