Customers at Redner’s Warehouse Markets have started seeing new signs and features, products of the company’s HealthCents program.

The Reading, Pa.-based retail chain launched HealthCents in its 39 Warehouse Markets stores May 3. The program gives vendors the opportunity to be featured in a bimonthly newsletter, biweekly circulars and to have point-of-sale signs attached to their products.

Redner’s stores launch HealthCents program

The program is designed to provide information and advice for consumers who are looking to lead healthier lifestyles. Redner’s hired Meredith Mensinger, a registered and licensed dietitian, as its corporate dietitian in February to head the program.

Mensinger’s role includes producing content for newsletters, making store appearances to publicize the program and answering e-mails from shoppers, she said.

Redner’s stores launch HealthCents program
Mensiger

HealthCents items are featured every other week in store circulars. Every two months, Redner’s publishes a newsletter that covers those featured items. Newsletters are distributed in the stores at a HealthCents kiosk, which is at an endcap in the produce section.

“Obviously, fresh produce, it goes without saying, goes with a healthy lifestyle,” Mensinger said.

Mensinger said she included information about the Fruits & Veggies — More Matters program in the debut installment of the newsletter and plans to include more information in the next one, which publishes at the end of June.

One of the obstacles with fresh produce, Mensinger said, is the notion that it’s too expensive for consumers living on a budget, especially during a recession.

“I think people get especially nervous that, ‘I can’t afford produce because it’s so expensive,’” Mensinger said. “But you don’t have to break the bank.”

Mensinger said before she joined Redner’s she did an experiment for a local newspaper in which she designed a healthful menu for a family of four for an entire week and compared the cost of the items needed for that menu to the cost of items needed for a week of unhealthy eating.

“The healthy cart turned out to cost less,” Mensinger said. “It made the front page of the paper.”

Fresh produce has yet to be featured in the program, but only because a vendor has not picked up on the opportunity yet. Mensinger said Yakima, Wash.-based Sage Fruit Co.  is one of several produce companies expected to be featured in future installments, along with several bagged salad suppliers.

HealthCents’ grocery items featured in each week’s circular are displayed at each kiosk, while perishable items, like produce, stay in their home locations but are identified with HealthCents signs.

Mensinger said she’s scheduled to visit and promote in 10 stores in May. She eventually wants to schedule store tours, during which she’ll take small groups of customers around the store and explain to them the benefits of eating certain foods.

“Maybe it’ll be a group of kids, and we’ll talk about eating the different colors of the rainbow in produce, or maybe it’ll be an older group and I’ll encourage people to increase their variety of fruits and vegetables and talk about different cooking methods,” Mensinger said.

Newsletters are available at www.rednersmarkets.com.

“It’s important to get the exposure out there with this newsletter,” Mensinger said. “By being online, consumers can click on things like the Fruits & Veggies — More Matters link and link to its site and see things like what’s in season.”

Redner’s Warehouse Markets are in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Delaware.