Health and wellness is personal. So with that in mind, Metro created a guide to help customers find food and beverage products that meet their specific needs.
The “My Health My Choices” program categorizes nearly 9,000 products under one or more attributes (there are around 50 all together), including gluten-free, vegan, keto-friendly, kosher organic and lactose-free. The program is featured in store, online and on Metro’s app with distinct green labels.
“Metro has long aspired to be a grocer that guides and inspires our customers to make better choices and adopt a healthier lifestyle, according to their own definition of health,” says Mike Thomson, Metro's vice-president of grocery merchandising. “My Health My Choices is a simple shopping guide with easy-to-use, attribute-based signage that helps customers shop according to their lifestyle, values or health needs. Our objective is to assist them in making those choices in a very efficient fashion while they’re shopping.”
In stores, product attributes are displayed on shelf labels. A new feature on the Metro app allows customers to scan product barcodes to learn more. The program really comes to life online, where customers can click on a particular category, read a message from dietitian Linda Montpetit, browse recipes, read tips, and shop all products in the category.
Metro worked with SPINS, a wellness-focused data technology firm, to develop the program. The classifications were based on research data, consumer trends, and Canada’s Food Guide, among other sources. A product may include several attributes, for example, vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO, but it’s based on what’s important to a specific product. For example, Thomson says, Fairtrade is an important attribute for coffee and chocolate, but may be less relevant for other categories.
My Health My Choices isn’t Metro’s first foray into a food-label program. Back in 2013, the grocer launched “My healthy plate with Metro,” which identified foods—with a smiley face—that are considered good and great choices.
“ was pretty generalized, and what’s healthy for a young mom versus a body builder is different—they’re looking for two different things,” says Thomson. “Or, someone is looking for weight management versus someone who has an allergy or gluten intolerance. Everyone has their own personal needs and concerns and My Health My Choices allows them to personalize to their own situation.”