Supervalu Inc. is about to launch a store wide nutritional information campaign to let shoppers know which products in their stores meet government health recommendations. They deserve congratulations for taking that first crucial step in serving the highest needs of their customers.  Although that begs the question, what about all the products that don’t make the cut?

Natural product retailers don’t have that problem. They’ve always understood that educating their customers about health, nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices is the foundation of a high performing, profitable business model. Natural product stores have grown from a fringe niche market segment to an industry with mutli billion dollar annual sales.

Stores like Whole Foods Market, Vitamin Cottage, Hi-Health among others have done a brilliant job of increasing their customers nutritional IQ.

It’s encouraging that some of the traditional grocery chains are beginning to see the value of consumer education. The state of New York discovered that they earned a $10 return on every $1 spent on health education.

Being healthy isn’t rocket science. The advantages of an educated and informed consumer will be the tipping point that marries personal responsibility and high value spending choices.

Once consumers become masterful in answering the question, “Is It Healthy?”, the choices they make and the demands they place on  merchants, vendors and institutions will begin to reflect a bias towards health rather than trying to manage disease. Who knows, maybe focusing on health will actually work. That’s a future worth living into, don’t you think?