Mom, can I have some dried fruit? Pleeeeease?

Martin’s is hoping kids will beg for an apple — or apple chips — like they would for a Twix candy bar in a new kind of checkout line.

The grocery chain on Thursday unveiled the Healthy Ideas checkout lanes at its Forrest Hill store near Chippenham Parkway.

Using a $15,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and teaming up with the City of Richmond and the Fit4Kids organization, Martin’s has launched the healthy-options line at eight of its locations across the Richmond area.

Jim Scanlon, Martin’s regional head, said Thursday the company hopes to expand the program to all of its 22 stores in the region.

The Healthy Ideas lines offer fruit, nuts and snack packs.

Martin’s spokesman Christopher Brand said the pilot program showed the company’s commitment to healthy eating.

“That was the idea behind the grant, to see if we could go out there and make a difference,” Brand said. “And it shows our customers that offering healthy choices is something Martin’s is committed to.”

The new lanes will be available at the following Martin’s locations:

  • Carytown
  • Forrest Hill
  • Brook Road, by Belmont golf course
  • Chippenham Crossing, near Iron Bridge Road.
  • 2250 John Rolfe Pkwy, near Ridgefield Parkway
  • Chesterfield Town Center
  • The Shoppes at White Oak Village
  • Cross Ridge Shopping Center in Glen Allen

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Jay
Jay
8 years ago

And it took a $15,000 grant to do this?

If Martin’s truely wanted to “[show] the company’s commitment to healthy eating” it could have done the same a long time ago at it’s own expense.

Jay
Jay
8 years ago
Reply to  Jay

I guess I’ll clarify my previous statements, particularly in light of some of the comments that followed. The source of my indignation isn’t necessarily that the government spent taxpayer dollars to push a ‘healthy’ (and I use that term loosely) food initiative. My problem is that Martins, of all places (a large regional chain, run by a national company, owned by an international company) accepted that money and then self-righteously touted their commitment to healthy eating. I quite honestly, don’t mind the government investing in healthy initiatives because it will benefit us all in the long run. But there’s got… Read more »

Tammy
Tammy
8 years ago

Martin’s needed a $15,000 grant from the CDC to initiate a healthy-food alternative checkout aisle in their stores? Ridiculous. The company could have done this of its own initiative, and it would have been far more impressive.

Travis Holt
Travis Holt
8 years ago

Why does Martins need a $15,000 grant to replace foods at a few checkout lanes. Our government is a joke for paying for this.

Phil
Phil
8 years ago

What a waste of money. Don’t worry though, in about a month when the get sales data in they will convert back to candy bars…

Drew
Drew
8 years ago

If the dried fruit is doused in sugar, and the nuts in oil and salt like most of what is commercially available, is it even better than a candy bar? That’s debatable.

Sheila Berry
Sheila Berry
8 years ago

The midwestern grocery chain, Hy-Vee, did this about 18 months ago, but with no federal grant money.

The Chicago Tribune reported in March, 2011:

“The store has also seen a 60 percent increase in the sales of soy nuts, a 30 percent increase in the sales of raw no-salt sunflower seeds, a 63 percent increase in the sales of dried peaches (no sugar added varieties) and a 16 percent increase in the sales of Sunsweet prunes.”

Nick Stark
Nick Stark
8 years ago

Why does it take $15k in tax money for them to rearrange stuff they already sell. I wonder why our government spending is so out of control. Shame on Martins for taking this.

Patty Thorpe
Patty Thorpe
8 years ago

I love how the government spends my money..

Donna
Donna
8 years ago

Looks like a good place to put the slow checkers because they know that aisle won’t be very busy. LOL

Sam
Sam
8 years ago

Because the “healthy” alternatives cost so much more…..Martin’s will certainly not lose any $ with this aisle. I agree with the others…why did they need a grant to do this? Good grief.

James Grayland
James Grayland
8 years ago

This is yet another good reason why I do not shop at Martins. $15K of tax payer money for Dried Fruit.

Melanie
Melanie
8 years ago

Looks like my opinion was already posted above! Ridiculous use of money. $15k to move items already in the store, and in the picture I see chips and pop tarts!

Jack Sonos
Jack Sonos
8 years ago

I guess the $15k is to convince a retailer to allocate 20% of this lucrative area to fruit and nuts. The placement of every food item in the store is highly negotiated and paid for indirectly by co-op dollars. Only the big players get prime spots.