Field Notes

Retail Dietitians Business Alliance Releases Results
of First Salary Survey for Retail RDs

The Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA) recently announced the results of the first salary survey for retail dietitians. The study reveals average salaries and compensation satisfaction, and provides additional career information as it pertains to retail dietitians. 

Currently, there are more than 600 retail registered dietitians throughout the United States who most often work in supermarkets, helping both shoppers and employees make food and nutrition choices that meet their families’ health and wellness needs.

“Retailers realize that retail dietitians are an integral part of the store experience and can boost sales exponentially while also creating customer loyalty,” says Phil Lempert, CEO and president of the RDBA. “This salary survey is the first of its kind and provides valuable information for dietitians, their employers, and those who are interested in this as a career. We are grateful to the RDBA members who participated.” 

Survey highlights include:

  • 75% of retail dietitians have an annual salary between $41,000 and $70,000;
  • 56% of retail dietitians have a bonus structure significantly higher than the 8% of RDs in other fields; 20% of retail RDs receive stock options and 30% the opportunity to participate in employee stock purchase programs;
  • Average salaries between store, regional, and corporate RDs have an approximate $10,000 difference, with store RDs paid less than corporate RDs;
  • At the time the survey was taken, no retail RDs carried the Vice President title. As health and wellness continues to drive business at retail, we will see dietitians having stronger leadership roles in the retail industry;
  • Retail dietitians’ rank their satisfaction with compensation a 6.0 on a 1-10 scale; and
  • There’s a difference in compensation satisfaction based on corporate titles, with directors being the most satisfied, followed by managers, dietitians, then nutritionists. Those who have worked in the retail setting for 10 or more years have higher rates of satisfaction.

“This is an important discussion point for our members,” Lempert says. “Perhaps the retail dietitians need to better integrate into their companies by taking a corporate title that aligns with their position and responsibilities. This could potentially increase overall job and compensation satisfaction, as having a corporate title such as director may come with other perks such as stock options.”

In addition, the number of stores in the retail chain appeared to have an impact on compensation satisfaction. RDs employed by retailers with 500 or more stores were the least satisfied with their compensation with a rating of 5.1, compared to those at retailers with 100-500 stores (5.7), retailers with less than 50 stores (6.6), and those at retailers with 50-100 stores (7.1).

Lempert says employers need to take note of this. “Like any company, employee retention is important and as more retailers want a dietitian in every store, their demand will increase and an unhappy RD will move on to another employer.”

Many retailers are hiring retail dietitians for each store as there’s a direct return on investment. Caroline Passerrello, a corporate dietitian with Giant Eagle, says their customers spend 5% to 7% more after meeting with a dietitian.

“What first began as an offering in a special health food section of the store is now integrated throughout the store,” Passerrello says. “We’re looking to innovate again, to combine technology with personalization. Putting a sign with nutritional information on the shelf is nice, but [shoppers] may not be interested in that information. We want to help personalize nutritional advice for our customers as they shop.”

The RDBA serves as the professional group to the more than 600 retail dietitians throughout the United States that most often work in supermarkets. The RDBA is the first to offer a retail business education program for registered dietitians that helps these professionals better understand the business of retail including trends, merchandising, working with suppliers and more. In addition to online and in-person training at key events, RDBA offers opportunities through its newsletter, website, and special events for the community of retailers and dietitians to share information. RDBA members represent more than 11,000 grocery stores.

To read the full report, visit www.RetailDietitians.com.

— Source: Retail Dietitians Business Alliance


Growing Up at a Healthy Weight Requires a National Movement

Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, issued the following statement from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

"The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Feb. 6 announced it will commit $500 million over the next ten years to expand efforts to ensure that all children in the United States―no matter who they are or where they live―can grow up at a healthy weight. This builds on the $500 million commitment they made in 2007 to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.

“Giving every child the opportunity to grow up at a healthy weight is fundamental to building a strong and inclusive Culture of Health, and will put our kids on course to live a long, healthy life. The American Heart Association is honored to partner with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and we believe that the strategies set forth will ensure all children have their greatest opportunity to live, learn, and play in healthier environments. Our organizations are fortunate to have a decades-long partnership in devoting resources that align to advance research, shift individual behaviors and social norms, and advocate for change so that all people can live healthier lives.

“As we work to advance strategies to improve heart health, policy advocacy will be a key driving force that determines our success. Simply put—access to affordable and healthy foods, safe and convenient places to be physically active, clean indoor air, and high-quality and affordable health care should be everyone’s right—not privilege. All of these factors not only protect our hearts as we get older, but they help mothers have healthy babies that grow up in healthy communities. Ensuring access to these fundamental health factors is the foundation to achieving health equity and fully realizing a culture of health."

— Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


The Academy Launches New and Redesigned Websites

To better empower its members to be food and nutrition leaders while strengthening its resolve to optimize the nation’s health through food and nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy) announces the launch of its new and redesigned websites: www.eatright.org, www.eatrightPRO.org, and www.eatrightSTORE.org.

“Just in time for National Nutrition Month®, the Academy is thrilled to unveil these new and redesigned websites. These sites will help our members better serve the food and nutrition needs of the public, while providing consumers with even more resources for developing healthful eating plans of their own,” says RDN and Academy President Sonja L. Connor.

Previously serving as the Academy’s primary and comprehensive website, housing consumer tips and information, member resources and the Academy’s e-commerce store, eatright.org has been redesigned to focus solely on providing consumers with understandable information they need to build and maintain healthful lifestyles.

New www.eatright.org features include:

  • Cutting-edge design. The site presents the latest articles, hot topics, and navigation to other initiatives such as the Academy Foundation’s Kids Eat Right program in a sleek and streamlined fashion;
  • Audience and lifestyle filters. These features provide quicker and easier access to the content that’s most appropriate to the visitor’s needs;
  • Social media wall. It features real-time updates and information from the Academy’s extensive outreach on virtually every social media platform;
  • “Find an Expert” tool. This function connects consumers with RDNs and other nutrition professionals near them who can provide expert consultations for their specific health concerns; and
  • “Watch and Learn” videos. These include a variety of helpful nutrition education and cooking demo videos featuring Academy spokespeople and inspiring members.

Providing a comprehensive, new online destination for dietetics practitioners, the new eatrightPRO.org is an information and resource hub designed specifically for Academy members. It also serves as a news hub for the media and a gathering place for the professional community at large, from allied health practitioners learning about the valued services of RDNs to legislators and stakeholders seeking a better understanding of how strong nutrition policy improves the health and lives of individuals and families.

Features of eatrightPRO.org include:

  • Media center. This provides journalists with the latest Academy news, consumer nutrition campaigns, syndicated content for reprinting, and audio and video public service announcements;
  • Member news. Members are kept posted on trends in the dietetics profession, plus tools, resources and news;
  • Search. A comprehensive and easy-to-use search tool enables faster location of information from within all three Academy sites;
  • My Academy toolbar. Members can access favorite bookmarks and view or edit their personal and professional profiles and account information; and
  • Virtual help desk. Members can find answers to “how to” questions, and submit new questions that will make the site more valuable to professionals.

Rounding out the Academy’s suite of websites is the new e-commerce eatrightSTORE.org. Designed using models from top e-commerce websites, the new eatrightSTORE.org showcases publications and resources for both health professionals and consumers, from the latest books and digital tools to client education and professional development opportunities.

Features of eatrightSTORE.org include:

  • Collections. One-click navigation leads to compilations of Academy offerings that focus on a specific topic like diabetes or children’s nutrition; and
  • Product videos. Multimedia series providing an in-depth look at highlighted products.

“As the Academy approaches our 100th anniversary, we are so excited to launch these cutting-edge websites while also looking back at how far we have come and all we have accomplished,” Connor says. “Our work is not yet done, so we will continue our dedication to providing the public the most current, trusted, and useful information they need to build healthy lives through food and nutrition.”