I few years back, I made a new year's resolution to lose some weight, something that's way overdue. After years of eating whole cakes or bags of cookies and washing it down with a half gallon of milk, the calories caught up with me. I thought I could keep avoiding them for a couple of more years, but I couldn't hide any longer. So, I went to Dr. Rodriguez, a nutritionist that my wife & mother-in-law have used in the past with great results.
I took a battery of tests & blood work which let me know where I stand. I wasn't surprised with some of the results. Almost 28% body fat, no surprise there. Cholesterol was high. For many years it hovered around 150, despite the 1,000 or so calories of cookies I ate daily. Last year, it went up to 195 but now it's 257 and time to get it down a lot. Triglycerides were also way up this time. But, I was surprised by my blood sugar. As it was explained to me, anything above 6 is considered diabetic and mine came in at 5.7. Cutting sugar out of my diet has been one of the hardest things for me to do this week, especially when you look around and see ho much sugar is in everything we eat.
So I went to the Whole food near my house and started to look at things I could eat, what could I use for snacks and things like that. The problem is that it could be pretty confusing without a lot of work. Lower sugar usually means higher sodium. Where do you make the trade? Is 10g of sugar OK in a meal or is that too much? And that’s when it hit me: Whole Foods needed their version of a “genius bar.”
It would’ve been really helpful to schedule a time to meet with a Whole Food nutritional specialist, go through my dietary needs and then walk me through the store helping me find what I need. Take me through each of the areas of the store and help me devise a menu that will help me meet my nutritional needs. I could walk around with a barcode scanner and build my grocery list and have it downloaded to a personal web site that I can use to track my progress. If it were really well done, it might even be something that my doctor could review to make sure I was making the right choices! OK, maybe that’s pushing it a little bit, but you get the idea.
The point is, that as consumers become continue to grow even more sophisticated in their expectations, retailers need to change their approach. I can shop online if all I need is shopping. I go to the store to receive service and I’m expecting more & more. Make my shopping experience my enjoyable. More helpful. More convenient. More of an experience. Give me more value then the other guy and I’ll keep coming back.
I never did lose the weight I needed to lose and, although I usually lose weight during Lent, I seem to be stuck where I am weight-wise. Maybe if Whole Foods had their genius bar, I would've lost that 25 pounds.
Image source: Randy Lemoine