As the need for registered dietitians with retail expertise continues to grow, a new organization will provide a professional framework to help foster these specialists. The Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA) will serve as the professional group to the more than 400 retail registered dietitians throughout the US that most often work in supermarkets helping customers and employees with food and nutrition issues.
RDBA will deliver a first-of-its kind retail business certification program for registered dietitians guided by an Advisory Board of industry experts. In addition to online and in-person training at key events, RDBA will offer opportunities through its newsletter, website, and special events for the community of retailers and dietitians to share information.
“Retail dietitians are a huge trend for 2013 and beyond, and through the RDBA’s prestigious Executive Committee, Advisory Board and Founding Partners, these professionals will better understand the business of retail including trends, merchandising, working with suppliers and more,” says Phil Lempert, CEO and president of the RDBA. “There are plenty of professional education opportunities for nutrition, but RDBA is the first to offer a retail business education for registered dietitians.”
In addition to Lempert, the Executive Committee also includes Allison Beadle
MS, RD, LD, RDBA Weekly editor and president of Salt & Co., Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, retail dietitian with 10 years’ experience, Annette Maggi, MS, RD, LD, FADA, executive director and president of Annette Maggi & Associates, and Jerry Rymont of Penton Media. The Advisory Board members include:
Jane Andrews MS, RD, Nutrition and Product Labeling manager, Wegmans Food Markets;
Judy Dodd, MS, RD, LDN, FADA, community consultant, Giant Eagle;
Bob Hermanns, director, Food Industry Programs, University of Southern California;
Cathy Polley, RPh, vice president, Health & Wellness; Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and executive director, FMI Foundation;
Shari Steinbach, MS, RD, Healthy Living manager, Meijer
Joanie Taylor, director of Consumer Affairs and Community Relations, Schnuck Markets; and
Allison Yoder, MA, RD, LD. Health and Wellness supervisor, Eastern Region,
RDBA Founding Partners include the National Grocers Association, the Food Marketing Institute, Frito-Lay, ConAgra Foods, Supermarket News, Ketchum and the National Confectioners Association.
Lempert adds, “Retail dietitians are in a unique position to not only help customers, but also increase retail sales. Having them understand the retail landscape is key to everyone’s success.”