2012 Supermarket Dietitian Symposium

Americans make, on average, 61 trips per household per year to the grocery store. Registered dietitians who work in supermarkets, and who can reach millions of customers, are ideally positioned to make a big impact in educating shoppers on how to buy, prepare, and eat healthier foods.

To discuss strategies to accomplish this goal, by-invitation dietitians from supermarkets across North America joined forces with food industry partners committed to improving public health at Oldways' Second Annual Supermarket Dietitian Symposium, February 29 – March 2 at the Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia. Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN, the corporate dietitian for Bashas’ Family of Stores in Arizona, led the vision and helped to create and execute this year’s event.

This event featured a cooking demonstration called "Making Your Cooking Demo Sizzle!" by celebrity chef Hugh Acheson, presented by the California Avocado Commission.


Pictured (left to right): Barbarba Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN, Bashas' Family of Stores; Sara Baer-Sinnott, President, Oldways; Chef Hugh Acheson; and Angela Fraser, CTSM, Marketing Manager, California Avocado Commision.

Watch the video of Chef Acheson's cooking demo.



The symposium included in-depth sessions with more than three dozen speakers, who shared ideas for promoting better nutrition and healthier food choices in supermarkets.

To share with you the important messages and takeways from this event, we offer copies of some of the speakers' presentations below. (Several panels were discussion only, without presentations.) Click on the links to download each presentation.

Remember, however, that speakers normally add considerable information orally that is not available in the PDFs; not all presentations will be completely comprehensible without this additional detail.

While we offer these presentations for their educational value, we remind you that these works are copyrighted by each speaker and may not be reproduced without the speaker's written permission.


What skills can dietitians master to make them more effective communicators?

Business Skills 101 for Supermarket Dietitians
Michael Crouse, Vice President, General Manager, Supermarkets, 

  Frito Lay North America

Download PDF (8 MB)

Using Shopper Research and Other Information to Create Successful Promotions and Educate Consumers

Craig Geiger, Senior Manager, Category Development, Barilla  
Download PDF: Part 1-pages 1-35 (15 MB) Part 2-pages 36-69 (21 MB)

How to Create Effective Health and Wellness Messages 

Tamara Barnett, Director, Strategic Insights, The Hartman Group
Download PDF (8.5 MB)



The savvy and the science behind eating plants, and promoting fruit and vegetable consumption at retail.

Plant-Based Diets in Mainstream America
Sharon Palmer, RD, author of forthcoming book, The Plant-Powered Diet
Download PDF (12 MB)

Blueberries Are on the Menu Every Day
Joanne Tehrani, MPH, RD, CDN, Lewis & Neale, for The Highbush Blueberry Council
Download PDF (2 MB)
Half-Plate Healthy and Other Ways to Promote Produce

Jennifer Felice, RD, Wegmans
Download PDF (2 MB)



Creating effective strategies with social media.

Dietitians in Social Media…Individuals, Supermarkets & Brands
Leah McGrath, RD, Ingles Markets
Download PDF (173 KB)

Regan Miller Jones, BS, RD, Cabot Creamery Cooperative
Download PDF (2 MB)

Introduction to Veggie Love
Jeffrey Moskowitz, Garden Lites


Presenting Oldways Health Through Heritage Family of Pyramids.

How to Promote Whole Grains and Traditional Diets at Retail
Cynthia Harriman, Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies, Oldways
Download PDF (1 MB)

Introducing the Oldways Nutrition Exchange
Sara-Baer-Sinnott, President, Oldways
Download PDF (428 KB)

The Evolution of Canned Food
Sarah Ludmer, RD, LD, Del Monte Foods
Download PDF (1.4 MB)

The Role of Peanuts in Traditional Diets
Patricia Kearney, MEd, RD, President & CEO, PMK Associates Inc.,
  for The Peanut Institute

Download PDF (1.6 MB)


How can the retailer connect healthy food with pharmacy?

Adding Meaningful Health & Wellness Value to Shoppers
Brian Levy, President, Pulse Health & Wellness
Download PDF (1.3 MB)

Nutrition and Pharmacy: The Dynamic Duo!
Tina Miller, RD, Meijer
Download PDF (7 MB)


Ideas for reaching emerging demographics.

Serving the Nutrition Needs of the Vitality Seeker
David Anderson, Marketing/Merchandising Director,
  Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association

Download PDF (5 MB)

Back to Nature: Courting the Savvy Shopper Looking
for Something Simpler

Arthur Gallego, Communications Director, Vita Coco
Download PDF: Part 1-pages 1-8 (23 MB) Part 2-pages 9-16 (14 MB)

Challenges in Targeting Consumers
Susan Moores, RD, Kowalski



How can RDs build an effective response to the current public health crisis?

The Importance of Breakfast
Lori Fromm, RD, Vice President, Weber Shandwick
  for National got milk? Campaign

Download PDF (6.5 MB)

Leveraging the Power of Monday to Promote Healthy Choices
Peggy Neu, President, The Monday Campaigns
Download PDF (10 MB)

Heart Health: Consumer Knowledge and Shopping Habits
Casey Lewis, MS, RD, Welch’s
Download PDF (7.3 MB)

Aligning with National Initiatives to Sell More Produce
Elizabeth Pivonka, PhD, RD, President,
  Produce for Better Health Foundation

Download PDF (12 MB)

Can We Predict Future Trends Concerning Childhood Obesity?
Lisa A. Sutherland, PhD, President, LA Sutherland & Associates, LLC
Download PDF (645 KB)


How to help your retailer gain visibility as a source of healthy foods.

Community Partnerships for All Retailers
Tres Bailey, Director of Federal Government Relations, Walmart Stores, Inc.

Presenting Cooking Matters
Chef Gregory Silverman, MSc, Share Our Strength

The Moveable Classroom
Marilyn Mills, RD, Hannaford



Strategies to inspire Americans to buy, cook, and eat more fish.

How Can Dietitians Responsibly Promote Seafood?
Sylvia Geiger, MS, RD
Download PDF (9 MB)



Words of wisdom from experienced dietitians.

• Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN, Bashas’ Family of Stores
• Judy Dodd, MS, RD, LDN, Giant Eagle, Inc.
 • Alison Yoder, MA, RD, LD/BS Dietetics, Hy-Vee, Inc.
 • Cindy Silver, MS, RD, LDN, Lowes Foods


Issues and challenges concerning supermarket tag programs.

Getting Up to Speed on Tag Program Questions
Anissa Buckley, Senior Director of Health and Wellness

Patty Packard, RD, Vestcom
Download PDF (1.4 MB)

Challenges in Labeling All Natural Products
Laura Hershey, MBA, RD, Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
Download PDF (162 KB)


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