Recent news announced by Supermarket News, Ohio based Kroger has launched a new experiment. Based on the new idea doctors can write food prescriptions which the patients will be able to fulfill at one of the grocery chain stores with the help of a Kroger Health professional.
The pilot project was launched last spring in Cincinnati, OH. For instance, diabetes patients take recommendations from local physician who further take advice from a nutrition expert at a Kroger in Forest Park, OH. Sources suggest the prescription is nothing less than a shopping list of food items tailored to patient’s specific medical condition.
According to Bridget Wojciak, RDN/LD, a nutrition expert at Kroger, the program is much more extensive than a shopping list of food items. “We find that a lot of physicians give difficult-to-follow nutrition advice — along the lines of ‘You should improve your diet’ or ‘You should eat better.’ And that becomes very difficult for a patient to understand and implement,” Wojciak commented.
In addition, the program also uses Kroger’s OptUP mobile app, which evaluates food items in the store based on their nutritional value. The app also helps users to track their progress while improving diets over time.
With the latest announcement, Kroger has become part of a growing number of companies across the food industry which make products and services that address everything from lifestyle choices to dietary habits to chronic illness. Companies are especially endorsing food prescriptions filled at grocery stores provide a unique and more enticing introduction to the food-as-medicine concept.
At present Kroger Health focuses on diabetes patients, but will eventually expand its services to other conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
In addition, Kroger does not yet offer prescriptions for preventative food solutions. However, the chain is working on launching its own line of plant-based products and developing vertical farms in stores.