Diabetes “Self Care” Demands Retail, Health Care Collaboration & Innovation

New wave of diabetic patients will rely on “store of the future” to fill health care gap


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 18, 2016 – The Global Market Development Center released its newest Health & Wellness Best Practices report, “Retail Partnering to Serve the Shopper with Diabetes.” The member-exclusive insights are the first in a series of best-practice papers the association will release in 2016.

More than 29 million American have already been diagnosed with Type 1 or 2 diabetes. With the Centers for Disease Control predicting 40 percent of Americans born between 2000 and 2011 will develop diabetes, the disease’s prevalence is demanding the attention of both physicians on the diagnostic end and retailers on what GMDC terms the “consumer-patient” end.

GMDC worked with Johnson & Johnson and Wakefern Food Corporation’s ShopRite supermarkets to explore how the two brands are addressing the diabetes crisis by creating a new in-store display format—the store of the future—for consumer-patients.

“The real opportunity for retailers here is in bridging the gap between the physician’s orders and the consumer-patient’s fulfillment of those orders – which we call ‘self care’,” said Mark Mechelse, director of research, industry insights and communications for GMDC. “Johnson & Johnson and Wakefern formed a retail relationship that benefits the entire commerce ecosystem.”

Wakefern said the partnership brought together a perfect blend of strengths and needs.

“Our stores are community stores, but we need manufacturer partners and Johnson & Johnson has the insights, the people and talent to help us serve those communities better,” said Chris Skyers, vice president of Health and Beauty Care for Wakefern.  “We started the journey with Johnson & Johnson with the question, ‘how do we create an environment that says to the patient faced with this disease, we care about you?’”

People with diabetes account for $176 billion annually in direct medical costs, and on average spend between $1,000 and $2,500 a year on supplies alone – Including test strips, syringes and sterile dressings. As a result, they spend nearly five times more than the average customer in drug and grocery.

“We have found that diabetes patients have so many health issues that, if there’s one place in the store they can go to and find testing supplies, wound care, skin care, oral health and nutritional products, it is a huge benefit to them,” says Chris Jobes director, Health and Wellness for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. “What we did was bring together all the primary items that deliver solutions. The results have been incredibly positive.”

The research further explores the role of integrating various store employees in helping diabetic patients and marketing through better understanding of the consumer-patient’s needs. For more information about this report, visit https://www.gmdc.org/health-wellness-best-practices-retail-partnering-to-serve-the-shopper-with-diabetes.