One of the keys to shaping the future of the industry is collaboration on different levels. That’s according to Alex Hurd, deputy COO of ClarusOne, who co-chairs the health-and-wellness pillar of the Consumer Goods Forum.
Working with a steering committee comprised of 30 companies that includes retailers and manufacturers in the food and OTC space, the Consumer Goods Forum launched the Collaboration for Healthier Lives platform. The platform focuses on manufacturers, retailers and communities — including local providers and nonprofits — working together to build awareness around healthier products, exercise and health-and-wellness in an engaging way. Efforts include healthy store tours led by local organizations.

“What we’ve tried to do is drive this culture of collaboration and experimentation within a community by inviting local government, healthcare providers and the nonprofits that are active locally in the community to coordinate a different way of delivering health & wellbeing,” Hurd said. “We want to do that in a way where we’re creating shared value, improving the health of the community we serve while and driving our businesses.”
This year, the platform entered into an even deeper collaboration with Healthy Washington County, Maryland, by coming together around a set of metrics that examine the impact community collaboration activities, including in-store events, have on community health.

For manufacturers, the platform offers an opportunity to help create interest in healthier products — particularly healthier foods and OTC — that consumers might not yet be familiar with in an engaging way. “You’re introducing healthier brands to customers, and that experience is reinforced by a nutritionist or pharmacist,” Hurd said. “it’s a unique model to engage and influence.”

In [Hagerstown], Maryland, the collaboration includes Martin’s, Walgreens, Walmart and local nonprofits — which Hurd said offers a lesson in industry-wide collaboration to drive future growth. “If we are going to help our customers in new ways and change an entire industry, we may benefit from collaborating and learning by using new and different approaches.”

Partners involved in the collaboration in Maryland are Ahold-Delhaize (Martins), AARP, Barilla, Campbell’s, American Chamber of Commerce, Colgate, Danone, General Mills, Healthy Washington County, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Merck, Meritus Health, Numerator, Nestle, Oliver Wyman, PepsiCo, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and the YMCA.

Article originally appeared on Drug Store News