Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair Former First Lady Michelle Obama to make healthier choices easier, and NACS, the association representing the nation’s 154,000-plus convenience stores, today announced two new cobranded programs to help NACS members provide more visibility to healthier choices inside their stores.
In addition, the groups announced that two new convenience distributors have signed commitments with PHA: Harold Levinson Associates and S. Abraham & Sons.
The announcements were made at the NACS Show, which is expected to draw more than 22,000 attendees from the convenience store industry. In May, NACS became the first retail trade association to join Partnership for a Healthier America.
The groups announced the launch of a Healthier Product Calculator, an online resource that allows convenience retailers to easily identify items that meet the PHA Healthier Food & Beverage Product Criteria. The online tool will help retailers more confidently develop better-for-you store sets and make healthier food choices more accessible to the 160 million customers who shop at convenience stores every day.
The online calculator is based on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, an evidenced-based set of guidelines crafted by a group of nationally recognized nutrition and medical experts, and released every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The Healthier Product Calculator is available to all NACS retail, supplier and distributor members at convenience.org/calculator.
“With more than 23.5 million people living where healthy and affordable foods are limited or unavailable, we have a significant opportunity to address one of our nation’s biggest challenges,” said PHA President & CEO Nancy E. Roman. “As PHA continues to work with NACS and the convenience store industry, we’re discovering more opportunities to meaningfully address food access, while supporting each aspect of the supply chain.”
In addition to the online calculator, the organizations announced that NACS is now an official partner of PHA’s Drink Up campaign, which encourages Americans to drink more water, more often. With convenience stores selling approximately 50 percent of the country’s single-serve bottled water, the three-year partnership will give NACS members the opportunity to access Drink Up marketing collateral and point of sale materials through a digital hub to help drive sales of bottled water in stores.
A 2016 study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) found that the Drink Up campaign fueled a 5 percent lift in incremental sales of bottled water among those exposed to the online campaign.
Also at the NACS Show, PHA announced that distributors Harold Levinson Associates (HLA) and S. Abraham & Sons (SAS) have each made a three-year commitment to deliver more nutritious options to its convenience retail partners.
Harold Levinson Associates is the fifth largest wholesaler to the convenience store industry serving more than 7,000 convenience store locations. HLA has committed to increasing the availability of affordable, nutritious options to its convenience store partners. It will also implement a healthier food catering guide for corporate meetings and events.
S. Abraham & Sons is one of the nation’s leading wholesale distributors specializing in the food industry that services nearly 4,000 retail stores throughout the Midwest. In addition to increasing the availability of affordable, nutritious options, SAS has committed to modifying its line of sandwiches and salads to meet PHA’s Healthier Food and Beverage Criteria and will introduce SAS-sponsored employee wellness programs.
Core-Mark and McLane, two of the largest convenience store distributors, as well as ESSTAR, a natural food sales, marketing and brokerage company, have also made PHA commitments to ensure that convenience stores across the nation can stock healthier options. Through these collective commitments, more than 75,000 convenience stores across the country can now offer expanded healthier choices and fresh fruit and vegetables to its customers. In addition, eight NACS retailer members, representing more than 2,000 locations in 25 states, also have signed commitments with PHA. Currently, 73 percent of PHA’s convenience store partner locations are in food deserts.
“We are proud to stand with our retailer and distributor members, as well as many of the supplier members, in joining PHA and supporting its programs to make the healthy choice the convenient choice,” said NACS President and CEO Henry O. Armour.
To learn more about the Healthier Product Calculator, Drink Up and distributor commitments visit www.ahealthieramerica.org.