@The Consumer Goods Forum Blog

In 2015 IGA joined The Consumer Goods Forum Health & Wellness Pillar with a specific set of objectives in mind. We knew if we were to remain relevant to our shoppers and maintain our place as the world’s largest and most progressive independent grocery brand, we wanted and needed to step up our health and wellness game to: 
CGF Health & Wellness Resolutions
After only a few short months of participation on the Pillar, IGA worked with Health and Wellness Advisor Kim Kirchherr, utilizing her 16 years as a registered dietitian and more than 10 years in the grocery industry to create the IGA Better Choices platform. This program, now nearing its one-year anniversary, provides shoppers with information to make informed and balanced decisions about their health and wellness needs through the IGA Better Choices website; and IGA retailers with insights into topics within the ever-evolving health and wellness space.
The philosophy behind the program—that better choices is about balance and enjoying occasional treats while making educated decisions every day—is simple, easy-to-follow, and allows people to live their lives. 
And it aligns with current science. When the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released earlier this year, the executive summary stated that a healthy eating pattern is not a rigid prescription, but rather an adaptable framework in which individuals can enjoy foods that meet their personal, cultural, and traditional preferences and fit within their budget. 
Like Kim always says: "Moderation is key, and with a little planning, pretty much all your favorite things fit in just fine.” 
That alignment is good news for IGA yes, but also for the industry as a whole, especially when you consider that similar alignment around the idea of balance and moderation is being seen here in the US and around world. After all, we are all working toward the same goal and in the same spirit: Creating lasting lifestyle changes that will improve the lives of our shoppers. Take the CGF Health & Wellness Resolutions, for example: 
CGF Health & Wellness Survey Results 2015
The CGF members are in a position to impact all seven billion people on the planet and over 100 million employees along the value chain. We accept and understand that our industry now has the obligation and opportunity to help improve the lives of consumers all over the world, and we’re working toward that end. This year alone we working toward fulfilling the first two public commitments:  nutrition and product formulation and implementation of employee health and wellness programs.  

Think of the positive difference we make if we combine actionable and responsible change on the part of the industry with consumer education that encourages people to make real and lasting lifestyle changes. 
Education is the key, and it is our duty to provide it. Doing so will put us in a better position to meet the needs of their shoppers, making us more competitive and creating more shopping loyalty along the way. 
And so, I invite you to take a look at our IGA Better Choices website, which highlights and organizes credible, timely informational resources, making them more digestible, more accessible—and even more fun—for our shoppers. It’s an easy concept, it’s working, and it gives us a solid foundation to continue the health and wellness conversation with our employees and customers, as you are doing with yours.  Together, we can have a positive impact. 
So the questions is, what programs have you created? Are you sharing them with your fellow members of the CGF? And are you sharing them often enough with shoppers? Because that’s what the CGF if all about: Sharing ideas, learning from each other and doing our part to build consumer confidence around the issues that are most important to our shoppers. 
So This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Inspire your fellow members of the CGF. And together we will do even more to bring health and wellness to life in our own companies for our employees and our customers.  

Mark Batenic, IGA CEO & CGF Board MemberThis post was written and contributed by:
Mark Batenic 
& CGF Board Member

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