5 Ways Grocery Stores Are Helping You Get Healthier

By , SparkPeople Blogger
These days, grocery stores are more than just food and beverage repositories. In addition to housing all the ingredients you need to eat, drink and snack, they can also help you lead a healthier lifestyle. With the ongoing rise in obesity rates, more supermarkets are stepping up and implementing initiatives to help consumers make better choices about what they’re putting in their bodies.

Of course, there are still plenty of pockets of temptation, and not all stores are stepping up to the extent of these 10 healthiest grocery chains. While the end caps and checkout counters will always try to tempt you with prepackaged treats, it’s comforting to know that some stores are making headway toward some of these health services.

Nutritious Recipes

Meal planning is an essential ingredient of healthy living, and it all starts with the right recipes. Many grocery stores are bridging the gap between planning and preparing meals by providing consumers with nutritious recipes. Whole Foods has dozens on their website, and they also send a recipe newsletter with fresh ideas and cooking tips. To make it even easier, you can add the ingredients for any given recipe to your shopping list with a single click. KrogerTrader Joe’sHy-Vee and Meijer also offer online recipes in various categories.

Healthier Food Samples

Although you might still see some unhealthy freebies like potato chips, chocolates and bacon-wrapped hot dogs, some supermarkets are starting to hand out healthier fare, like veggies and hummus, sliced fruits and organic snacks. And while you still might see the infamous tray of cookies set out at the bakery counter, many grocery stores are starting to offer free fruit for kids to instill healthy habits at a young age. 

Ready-to-Cook Meals

Between work, school, kids and household duties, planning and prepping healthy family meals can seem like a pipedream, but you don’t want to fall for the alluring convenience of fast food drive-thrus. Savvy supermarkets are meeting the needs of busy, health-conscious consumers by offering pre-assembled, ready-to-go meals that can be cooked in minutes at home.

Kroger recently announced its foray into a meal kit service called Prep + Pared in hopes of giving meal delivery services like Blue Apron a run for their money. With meal kits, you get precisely the ingredients you need to cook a dish, along with step-by-step instructions delivered right to your door, no waste, no fuss. Consumers can also opt for fresh prepared options, which have already been assembled and just need to be heated and served. Kroger also offers oven-ready seafood at their counter—simply choose your seafood, seasonings and garnish, and they’ll provide you with a cooking pack complete with all your preferred herbs, spices and flavors. When you get home, just pop the packet into the oven, heat and eat.

Expanded Selections of Fresh and Organic Foods

As people become more aware of the downfalls of processed foods, major grocers are responding with larger offerings of fresh, locally grown and organic options. Whole Foods is known for its ample selection of grass-fed meats, free-range chicken, fresh seafood and oven-ready organic meals. Trader Joe’s store brand steers clear of preservatives, trans fats and artificial flavors and colors, and Aldi has made headlines for stepping up their organic offerings. Hy-Vee has also started offering more organic, gluten-free foods and positioning them near produce sections.

Curbside Pickup and Delivery

Whether you have small children, mobility issues or just limited time, navigating the grocery aisles can seem difficult or downright impossible. To stay competitive with online delivery services like AmazonFresh, local supermarkets are starting to offer shopping services that enable people to get their groceries without leaving their cars (or even their homes).

With Kroger’s ClickList service, you can order and pay for your groceries online, then pick them up in a designated area of the parking lot. The attendant will finalize the purchase at your window and then load your items into your car. Meijer has taken it a step further, partnering with delivery service Shipt to bring groceries right to your door—the driver will even bring your bags right into your kitchen. These types of convenient fulfillment options allow you to make more controlled, thoughtful purchases, prevent impulse purchases and remove the temptation of unhealthy fare. Plus, with the time you would have spent grocery shopping, you can get in a workout!

Have you seen any of these services at your local supermarket? What other initiatives would you like to see from grocery stores?

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REDROBIN47 12/25/2019
Thanks for the information. Report
KHALIA2 8/14/2019
Awesome ideas! Thanks for sharing this one! Report
FRAN0426 6/24/2019
Several of the grocery stores in my area now offer to shop and bag your groceries. A help for those who have problems walking around grocery store. That being said, it's not for me---I just feel I can pick out the correct size of a package for me, the same for fruits and veggies. Report
I do love shopping at The Kroger Co. retailer store. And I always get free 50 fuel points by taking a feedback survey at https:// www.thekrogerfeedback.com / Report
Educate the consumers Report
thank you Report
Thanks Report
Good to know. Report
Gotta do the hard work Report
Very helpful Report
All people should be concerned about the health of themselves and family. These stores are just responding to this need. They should be leaders as the fast food industry still promotes price over healthy eating. Report
I shop at Meijer and use Shipt. Both are awesome. Report
Awesome! Report
Thanks, great! Report
Good article! Thank you! Report
Shop at Kroger, love it Report
Great Report
I shop at Dillons, owned by Kroger, and they are always sending me recipes. Since I have been buying organic, I have noticed more organic chooses at the store. Report
Meal planning is the best for healthy eating. Report
not my grocery store. have to go to big box stores for the sampling and info. Report
Our local Kroger has been making many of these changes but a lot of the healthy foods have been burried by moving them and not making the new locations clear. Hopefully they will fix that soon. Report
I am sure it's somewhat cynical of me to think how much profit they are raking in by spiralising some carrots.... a loose carrot cost about 10p, a box of curled bits costs a £1... some profit there!! Report
Super happy that grocery stores are getting the message that we want healthy, quick choices. Von's, out West seems a little more expensive but they are doing some the things mentioned and carry many organic and vegan items. Report
Great article. Our stores all offer these services and we love them. Report
Good info but no supermarkets on the west coast except trader Joe's. I'd like to see info about Sprouts or Fresh and easy Report
GreatGreat info. Report
I absolutely love most vegetables Report
I love fresh veggies so good the farms come in town once a week Report
I enjoy shopping at a grocery store that has a great fruit and veggie department, even if the produce is a bit higher in price. Nothing like bringing home produce that gores bad within a couple of days. Report
We must use time creatively.
- Martin Luther King Report
Excellent article. Report
Great article and input Report
Interesting article. Report
I always make my shopping list on line. The local store does not deliver and does not offer pick up. I wish they would. So easy to shop that way and avoid the impulse purchases. Report
I love Shipt! On the days when I hurt, it really helps! Report
I love curbside pick up. Seriously reduces impulse purchases for me. Report
thanks Report
I love our Kroger here, usually has great produce and lots to choose from and meats and all the foods I need to feed my family. Report
A really good read.... Report
Good article! Report
About time! Report
A great read! I'm glad health is in our future! Report
These are all true at our grocery stores and I love it. Report
I do shope the preimeter....never go to center. Report
I've noticed many changes at my Kroger store Report
good to see change Report
Seeing many changes in our local grocery stores that I like. Report