What Makes Schnucks' New Rewards Program Unique

Companies know that with the binning of one calendar and the hanging of its replacement, you might be considering the new blank days with some resolution or other in mind. Unlike most, however, Schnucks, the Midwest supermarket chain based in St. Louis, has decided to take this opportunity to promote healthier living in a relatively unobtrusive manner.

In a press release issued on January 4, Schnucks announced that they were tweaking their Rewards system to include a "Good For You" program. The program, which is free to all rewards members that want to opt in, tracks the number and percentage of your purchases that count as "Good For You." The category was defined by the guiding date of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the FDA, the USDA, and the American Heart Association. Good For You foods include simple fruits, vegetables, whole grains, eggs, and lean meats. They can't have artificial flavors, colorants, or sweeteners. Moreover, they must have less than 5g of saturated fat, a maximum of 8g of added sugar, and a maximum of 600 mg of sodium. "As a neighborhood grocery store looking to build happier, healthier communities, Schnucks wants to help our customers take a step forward on their health journey," Allison Primo, Schnucks Health & Wellness Strategy Manager, explained.

A program developed by Spoon Guru takes all the data and delivers monthly reports to the rewards members. Additionally, there will be exclusive deals, recipes, and tips for how to have a healthier culinary lifestyle.

Other ways supermarkets can promote health

What makes Schnucks' innovation of their Rewards program so good is that it is a simple, non-aggravating way to lead interested customers towards a healthier lifestyle. It doesn't need upkeep, so it can continue indefinitely, unlike a promotional deal.

On a similar note, Guiding Stars, an independent food evaluator and label, was created to give customers an easily recognizable sign for healthier food. In 2011, Progressive Grocer reported on the criteria that the algorithm of Guiding Stars uses: "The program credits all foods according to the presence of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and whole grains, and debits for the presence of trans fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and added sodium." It then awards the product stars based off of these numbers. The success of this measure was shown in 2017, when a study led by Erin Hobin of Public Health Ontario discovered that customers would perceive foods labeled with Guiding Stars as healthier, giving them a clearer choice to make (per PR Newswire).

The cleverness of Schnucks' solution is that it takes the idea of giving customers clear feedback about what foods are healthy for them and compiles the actual data. So it's not a matter of judging how healthy one is in the moment of shopping, but having the support of a program that otherwise leaves you alone.