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Providing more information to consumers can empower them to make purchasing decisions with confidence. Add in a person’s specific needs and preferences, and it creates opportunities to provide recommendations that lead a person to the choice that’s best for them.
ScriptSave is harnessing this recipe for personalization, and applying it to how the choices people make every day influence their health. A division of the pharmacy benefit manager MedImpact, 25-year-old ScriptSave provides people with discounts on prescription medication through pharmacies and direct-to-consumer channels.
A few years ago, it branched out into an area that could provide health benefits beyond direct treatment, and even prevent the need for medication. With a tool that launched in 2020, ScriptSave is aiming to help people use nutrition to improve their health. In particular, it is aiming to provide people with information that can be used in the food choices they make, whether at a restaurant or grocery store.
“The crux of what we do is to use technology to help people find foods that are really truly aligned to their specific health conditions,” said Jane Schmitt, director of product innovation at ScriptSave. The Current spoke with Schmitt at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Total Store Expo, where ScriptSave was named the winner in the pharmacy operations category at the product showcase.
Under the banner of ScriptSave WellRx Personalized Wellness, the company offers a white-labeled application that creates a health profile for a user, then uses technology to help them find foods that are right for them, based on their health needs. To create the profile, users input information about health conditions, diet and any allergies, along with metrics from connected devices or other health-related measures.
This information is then applied to help them make food chocies at a number of locations.
Within the app, over 500 recipes are also available. Using information from the health profile, the app scores these recipes based on what is best for a consumer. The information is also used to assist with meal planning. When selecting an item, a feature called “Better for You” can make recommendations on products that best fit one’s profile.
The app also blends health information with grocery ecommerce. Once users decide on an item, they have the option to add it to a list for a grocery delivery service such as Instacart, Kroger or Amazon Fresh.
If a user is at a restaurant that is a national or local chain, they can also use the app to find nutritional information from items on the menu.
For people who are browsing at the grocery store, the app includes a barcode scanner that they can use to look up nutritional information of a product. The app then provides a score that indicates whether it will be aligned to a person’s health needs.
Showing information on ingredients and preparation, this feature can double as a handy tool to determine whether a product that is advertised as being good for you is actually healthy. With an unbiased look at what’s in the food we eat, the results of a scan through the home pantry can be surprising.
“We all think we eat healthy, and you discover that there are things that come into your house that you don’t know aren’t good for you,” Schmitt said.
No matter where a person is making food choices, the goal is to put the information to make decisions in their hands. Within the application, the nutrition capabilities are combined with tools that can help users stick to a medication regimen, and monitor their health to potentially see the impact of healthy eating.
“It’s really putting all of the tools into a consumer’s hands so you can eat healthier and, through nutrition, address some of your health conditions,” Schmitt said.
Going forward, Schmitt said the team is looking to add offers to the application that will provide discounts on the food that is good for them.
“We’re not partial to specific brands. It’s really about, is this good for someone or not?” Schmitt said. “If there is an offer to help somebody save money, we want to be able to surface that and help educate users about different products.”
The company has helped people save money on medications for 25 years. Now it wants to help people eat better, and save money on healthy foods, too.
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Campbell Soup Company CEO Mark Clouse offered thoughts on messaging amid inflationary shifts in consumer behavior.
After months of elevated inflation and interest rate hikes that have the potential to cool demand, consumers are showing more signs of shifting behavior.
It’s showing up in retail sales data, but there’s also evidence in the observations of the brands responsible for grocery store staples.
The latest example came this week from Campbell Soup Company. CEO Mark Clouse told analysts that the consumer continues to be “resilient” despite continued price increases on food, but found that “consumers are beginning to feel that pressure” as time goes on.
This shows up in the categories they are buying. Overall, Clouse said Campbell sees a shift toward shelf-stable items, and away from more expensive prepared foods.
There is also change in when they make purchases. People are buying more at the beginning of the month. That’s because they are stretching paychecks as long as possible.
These shifts change how the company is communicating with consumers.
Clouse said the changes in behavior are an opportunity to “focus on value within our messaging without necessarily having to chase pricing all the way down.”
“No question that it's important that we protect affordability and that we make that relevant in the categories that we're in," Clouse said. "But I also think there's a lot of ways to frame value in different ways, right?”
A meal cooked with condensed soup may be cheaper than picking up a frozen item or ordering out. Consumers just need a reminder. Even within Campbell’s own portfolio, the company can elevate brands that have more value now, even if they may not always get the limelight.
The open question is whether the shift in behavior will begin to show up in the results of the companies that have raised prices. Campbell’s overall net sales grew 5% for the quarter ended April 30, while gross profit margins held steady around 30%. But the category-level results were more uneven. U.S. soup sales declined 11%, though the company said that was owed to comparisons with the quarter when supply chains reopened a year ago and expressed confidence that the category is seeing a longer-term resurgence as more people cook at home following the pandemic. Snacks, which includes Goldfish and Pepperidge Farm, were up 12% And while net sales increased overall, the amount of products people are buying is declining. Volumes were down 7%.
These are trends happening across the grocery store. Campbell is continuing to compete. It is leading with iconic brands, and a host of different ways to consume them. It is following that up with innovation that makes the products stand out. Then, it is driving home messaging that shows consumers how to fit the products into their lives, and even their tightening spending plans.
Campbell Soup is more than 150 years old, and has seen plenty of difficult economic environments. It is also a different business today, and will continue to evolve. At the end of the day, continued execution is what’s required.
“If it's good food, people are going to buy it, especially if it's a great value,” Clouse said.