Nathan Perc is a grocery category manager at Heinen’s responsible for finding the best items to stock in Heinen’s Wellness Department. Here he gives us some insight into the department.
“Wellness is a category that has grown a lot for us in the past few years. We’ve made a conscious effort to stay ahead of the curve, but it’s also been driven by customer demand for these types of products. Consumers are interested in gluten-free, all-natural and vegan products. I’m also seeing more of an interest in the raw lifestyle; both raw foods and raw vitamins and supplements.
Consumers are becoming more conscious about food choices, and they want to know what goes into our food. People are reading labels and really paying attention to what’s in the food they’re buying.
I think a lot of people just want to be healthier. As a society we’re starting to become more aware that what we eat has a direct impact on our health, and making better eating decisions will make us feel better, and can even help with existing health problems. I know that I certainly pay more attention to what I’m consuming than I used to even a few years ago.
It’s still a misconception that being healthy means eating food that doesn’t taste good. In the Heinen’s Wellness Department, we have products that are healthy and taste great. You can have both! Some of the newest products we have in the Wellness Department are Alive & Radiant kale/veggie snacks, Garden of Life vitamins, Love Force bars, Organic Traditions products and R.A.W. Real and Wonderful snacks. We also recently launched our own line of Heinen’s vitamins.
Something that sets Heinen’s apart from other grocers is our wellness consultants. They’re passionate about healthy living and really know their stuff. If you have any questions about the products we carry, or wellness as a whole, they’re the people to ask. I know that they’re always happy to educate our customers on our products, and they can offer tips and suggestions.
One of my favorite items in the Wellness Department is the Good Greens bars. They’re great because each bar contains 100% of your daily fruits and vegetables, they contain probiotics and antioxidants, and they’re tasty! I also enjoy Go Raw pumpkin seeds and R.A.W. Real and Wonderful Macaroons when I feel like a treat. Living Intention Gone Nuts is also a great product that has a variety of flavors, so you can always find the taste you’re craving.
I think the future of wellness products is unlimited. Even with all of the popularity it’s getting now, we’re only in the beginning stages of this area. It’s only going to grow larger and larger. I think we’ll also start to see a lot of mainstream brands latch onto wellness as a movement and introduce new products of their own to reflect the changing ways that consumers shop for food.”