MMR’s Seven Executives Who Made a Difference
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As vice president of consumables and general merchandise for CVS Pharmacy, Mike McEnany has helped oversee the chain’s expansion of healthier food and beverages.
“Since CVS Pharmacy became the first and only national retail pharmacy chain to remove tobacco products from its shelves in 2014, the next natural step in this evolution was to further expand its focus to health and beauty,” says McEnany. “The No. 1 thing we’ve heard from customers following the removal of tobacco products is the desire for an increased volume and variety of healthy foods and beverages.”
The rollout of more healthy consumables is an important part of the evolution of CVS Pharmacy to better support customer health in its 7,900 stores, and is an important extension of its enterprise purpose of helping people on their path to better health, he says. For his contribution to the rollout, McEnany has been named one of MMR’s Seven Executives Who Made a Difference in 2016.
The expansion has been well received by customers, with 77% of those surveyed saying that access to more healthy food offerings at CVS is “important to very important” and 82% saying that they had a “good to excellent” impression of the broadened offerings.
The chain has also dedicated 25% of front-checkout shelf space to better-for-you snacks including KIND bars, Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups and Vega One bars to give shoppers more options for healthier, affordable, convenience food items while on the go, “which has received a lot of great feedback from customers,” notes McEnany.
The healthy food format has been rolled out to 2,600 stores, with an additional 700 receiving significant enhancements, which includes a new store layout that will have a broader assortment of better-for-you food products in an expanded refrigerated section and more prominent displays of healthy food items and grab-and-go snacks. With the expansion, the retailer has added more than 250 better-for-you food and beverage items, and enhanced the checkout area with a more prominent display of healthier snacks.
As part of the rollout, CVS has introduced trend zone displays to showcase selections of healthy food and beverages that support trending dietary preferences including paleo, raw and vegan. Now through January 2017, stores are featuring a vegan trend zone that includes a variety of food items that meet vegan eating guidelines, McEnany points out. Brands featured in the vegan trend zone include: gimME, Larabar, HINT, Drinkmaple, Pure Organic, Somersaults, Beanitos, and selected products from CVS store brand Gold Emblem abound.
Past healthy eating trend zones have showcased paleo and raw food, including products by EPIC, Peeled Snacks, Emmy’s Organics, That’s it. and Two Moms in the Raw. “Introducing trend zones is one way we’re showcasing the expanded variety of not only well-known health food brands carried at CVS Pharmacy but also those brands most would expect to only find at a specialty health food store,” he comments.
The retailer’s healthy deals of the week and personalized email offers through the ExtraCare Rewards program have been effective ways to remind customers that eating healthy can still be affordable, he adds. “They are also useful tools for driving awareness among customers who may not realize they can find many of their favorite ‘better for you’ brands at their local CVS Pharmacy, and don’t need to make another stop at a specialty health food store.”
The Fit Choices shelf tagging program increases the ease of finding healthier items by clearly identifying food products that meet nutritional and dietary preferences with such wording as “Good Source of Protein,” “Heart Healthy,” “Gluten Free,” “Sugar Free,” “Organic” and “Non-GMO Verified.” “One of the common pieces of feedback we hear from customers is that they want to be able to quickly find what they’re looking for when they shop at CVS Pharmacy, and these tags have been a helpful, easy way for customers with different dietary needs or preferences to do just that,” McEnany remarks.
Judy Sansone, senior vice president of front-store business and loyalty and chief merchant at CVS Pharmacy, says, “We’re now highlighting healthy food, as well as beauty care, in places where they are immediately apparent as customers walk into the store. We’ve always done a great job in featuring O-T-C health care as shoppers walked toward the pharmacy. Now we’re giving healthy food and beauty the same type of treatment.”