The Supermarket will see over 100 new Healthy Eating Specialists in stores this year

Waitrose today unveils new research* into attitudes towards health and wellbeing revealing that many of us equate healthiness with an overall sense of wellbeing and happiness rather than simply dieting or exercise.

The research comes as the supermarket launches a number of new health initiatives to help customers. This includes a supermarket first – the announcement of 100 Healthy Eating Specialists who will direct customers who ask towards healthier choices on the shop floor (more details below).

Waitrose Health Initiatives

Waitrose has announced the launch of Healthy Eating Specialists. In a retail first, these shop floor specialists will direct customers towards healthier choices.

11 will be in place by May and 100 by the end of the year. Waitrose is moving to the next stage of its trial for personal nutrition consultations, and for the first time, testing outside of London, at its Basingstoke shop.

Healthy Eating Specialist in Waitrose
Healthy Eating Specialist in Waitrose (Image by Waitrose)

From this month, the supermarket will launch its new magazine ‘Waitrose Health’. Edited by Peta Bee, the magazine will appeal to healthy eaters who want new ideas, but also to people who aspire to a healthier lifestyle.

Waitrose has now put its new ‘Good Health’ mark on more than 1600 lines to make it easier for customers to make healthier choices. A third of those surveyed said highlighting healthy options would help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The supermarket is launching its new ‘Beautifully Simple’ campaign this week using a series of recipes to inspire customers to cook everyday meals with a small number of fresh ingredients.

Waitrose will also be increasing health information available to customers. This includes tips and inspiration in its publications and online; plus advice and classes from experts, including Shona Vertue and Professor Greg Whyte.

Further new health initiatives will be launched by Waitrose over the next few months.

Moira Howie, Nutrition & Health Manager, Waitrose, said: “Many shoppers have the best intentions to be healthier but busy lives get in the way. We know that small steps, top tips and nuggets of good advice can help them get started and importantly stay on track. Research shows that changes do not have to be radical to have a positive effect and can have a lasting impact on health.”

The research

Waitrose conducted OnePoll consumer research among 2,000 UK adults (aged 18- 55+ yrs, all UK regions, not just Waitrose shoppers) in March and April 2018 to explore current views on health. This was supported by focus groups in which people were asked in-depth questions about their attitudes to health and what their motivations and obstacles were for becoming and staying healthy. Here is what they found:

Motivations to become healthier: ‘tombola Birthdays’ and ‘unhealthy selfies’

In research among 2000 people, half admitted that they didn’t feel on top of their health; with a third saying they didn’t have enough time to focus on their health.

It also reveals that the most common motivator for getting healthy is seeing an unflattering photo of oneself or no longer fitting into an item of clothing. And a socalled ‘tombola Birthday’, one ending in a zero or five, is a big driver to getting healthy, as is a special event such as a wedding.

Social media plays a part in our attitude towards health with almost 1 in 10 of those surveyed saying that seeing friends online being healthy motivated them to get started. For 18-24 year olds, social media’s influence was higher, with almost a fifth of those surveyed saying it would kick start a new approach to health.

Parental Pressures

The research also looked at the challenges facing parents which can be the point in life where their health gradually, and often imperceptibly, drifts. For many parents there’s the drive to get healthy for their children’s sake, but more than half find the pressures of juggling family life an obstacle to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Half of parents (49%) admitted their health had drifted since having children but they plan to focus on it when the kids are older. Yet 40% of parents say their children can actually help them to get healthier, for example by learning about health in school and pestering the family to make positive changes.

Aim small

Many have found the key to feeling healthy is cutting themselves a bit of slack by aiming small; enjoying good food and wine in moderation; spending time outdoors; or time with those they love.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of those currently feeling in good control of their health say they feel more positive when taking a long term approach to creating healthy habits.

Health and nutrition is a rapidly growing market in the UK. To help customers make healthier choices, Waitrose is announcing a number of new initiatives to help shoppers make small but achievable changes.

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