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FMI report: food industry committed to health and well-being initiatives

fmi health report

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As Americans’ interest in nutrition and healthy eating has increased in recent years, companies across the food industry have implemented numerous initiatives to support consumers’ health needs and priorities, according to FMI – The Food Industry Association’s new Food Industry Contributions to Health and Well-Being 2024 report. The survey, conducted in October 2023, includes insights from both retailers and product suppliers.

“Healthy eating has clearly become a priority for shoppers, and the grocery store continues to evolve as an accessible, community-based destination for health and well-being,” said FMI Senior Director for Health & Well-being Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN. “This report illustrates that companies across the food industry are committed throughout their entire organizations to offer products and services to help families make positive food purchasing decisions and support them on their health and well-being journeys.”

While health and well-being has always been a key priority, nutrition and overall health has become the top focus for the food industry this year. FMI’s survey found that 70% of responding companies are currently operating with established nutrition, health and well-being strategies, and about one-third have measurable qualitative targets and goals for their nutrition, health and well-being programs.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are also playing larger roles in developing and operationalizing health and well-being strategies. The majority (82%) of responding food retail and supplier companies employ dietitians throughout their organizations. Additionally, 71% of responding companies have dietitians in place at the corporate level, where they integrate with company executives to drive strategic leadership, regulatory affairs, labeling, ecommerce and digital merchandising and marketing and communications initiatives. Nearly one in five companies surveyed employ registered dietitians in their retail locations in a variety of roles impacting the health of both customers and employees.

Food retailers are also employing a wider variety of health professionals across the board:

  • 36% of food retailers employ registered nurses, up from 20% in 2021.
  • 14% of food retailers employ nurse practitioners, up from 8% in 2021.
  • 14% of food retailers employ medical doctors, up from 4% in 2021.

Food as Medicine programs that connect the science of food and nutrition to improved health for customers, employees and communities, are also gaining momentum across the food industry. With increased awareness and interest, companies are delivering highly relevant strategies and programs in the grocery store setting, designed to help reduce diet-related disease and support health goals for shoppers. Most prevalent are path-to-purchase marketing, incentive programs and personalized nutrition education solutions that work synergistically with prescription programs and medically tailored nutrition. Food industry companies are also making nutrition and health programs tangible for employees, with companies increasingly offering nutrition counseling and well-being and weight-management classes.

FMI’s Food Industry Contributions to Health and Well-Being 2024report also revealed that among companies responding to the survey:

  • 90% include nutritional messaging as part of family meals promotions.
  • 78% are reformulating national and private brand products to reduce nutrients of concern like sodium and added sugars.
  • 67% of food retailers operate pharmacies.
  • 63% identify disease prevention and health promotion as a top area of focus for programming in the next two years.
  • 54% plan to partner with allied health organizations, like the American Heart Association.
  • 46% expect to partner with health insurance providers in the near future.

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About FMI
As The Food Industry Association, FMI works with and on behalf of the entire industry to advance a safer, healthier, and more efficient consumer food supply chain. FMI brings together a wide range of members across the value chain — from retailers to producers to companies supplying critical services — to amplify the collective work of the industry.