With self-checkout (SCO) lanes becoming more prevalent at grocery and drug stores across the U.S., shopper intelligence leader Catalina has issued a study that shatters broad generalizations about shoppers not liking the SCO option overall and not using coupons when they do use it.
The Rise of Self-Checkout Lanes
The number of SCOs in the U.S. has increased 10% in the last five years, with Catalina estimating that they now account for nearly 40% of lanes in grocery chains in the U.S. — a number that continues to grow as retailers like Walmart, Kroger, and Dollar General test pilot stores that offer only SCOs, per CNN. As more retailers make these moves in the U.S. and around the globe, Catalina advises they consider insights from its Shopper Intelligence Platform, underscoring that most consumers want both manual and SCO options.
For this SCO study, Catalina segmented shopper IDs into three segments: SCO-only, manned checkout-only (MCO), and a hybrid of SCO and manned lanes. Their choice of which lane to use depends on their shopper profile and purchase occasion. Surprisingly, more consumers have shifted from SCO-only to manual-only lanes year over year, but those who use both consistently have the highest retention rates and best customer value.
How Lane Choice Links to Purchase Behavior
Catalina data shows that 39% of shoppers used both lane types in 2021, depending upon their shopping mission. 49% of shoppers preferred the personal attention offered in the manned-only lanes, while only 12% of shoppers were steadfast SCO-exclusive fans. Breaking down the behavior of the hybrid shopper, their transactions were split 50-50 between MCO and SCO, with MCO accounting for 68% of sales and SCO for 32%.
Among other insights uncovered in the study: SCO-only shoppers had smaller baskets and bought less than hybrid and MCO fans. Instead of grocery stores, SCO-only customers likely do pantry loading in other channels, such as mass retailers or online. Hybrid shoppers produced the highest customer value ($1,720) and made 36 shopping trips per year in 2021.
Catalina's analysis further shows MCO-only shoppers are primarily Baby Boomers and Silent Generation consumers with household incomes under $100K and a high school education. SCO-only shopping also attracts the Silent Generation, as well as 19 to 24-year-olds. Those who use both SCO and MCO lanes are a mix of different demographics and tend to have an annual household income topping $100K, which is higher than the other segments.
For each checkout segment, Catalina analyzed which shopper personalities and affinities rise to the top. For example, Natural Flavor Seekers and Tree Nut Avoiders use SCO lanes more than other segments while Caffeine Seekers and Partially Hydrogenated Oil Avoiders choose MCOs. Those that toggle between both options tend to be Ingredient Conscious Seekers.
"In our view, retailers should evolve to create a balance of self-checkout and manned lanes to accommodate more multi-dimensional shopper profiles, Improve customer experience, enable cost efficiencies and maximize sales for the long term," said Wesley Bean, U.S. Chief Retail Officer for Catalina. "Until recently, shopper profiles generally grouped consumers by demographics and where they are on the purchase funnel. Now, retailers can layer in check-out preferences and shopper affinities to create a more personalized shopping experience and reach individual shoppers with messages that matter."
Coupon use at SCO lanes
The Catalina study also bucks conventional industry presumptions that shoppers won't take the time to use coupons in SCO lanes by citing a pilot program it conducted with a regional grocery retailer that compared the six-month performance of SCO shoppers who received ads with SCO consumers who did not. Both companies then measured post-campaign redemption rates to the previous year by region and type of checkout lane. They were surprised to learn SCO lane shoppers who received coupons drove four times more sales growth than the SCO checkout lanes with suppressed incentives. When compared with the six-month pre-period, these coupons accounted for an 181% in sales growth versus the control group, which posted a 40% increase. Data analytics demonstrated the incentives attracted new shoppers, engaged lapsed buyers, and contributed to an increase in store visits.
Planning Long-Term Automation Strategies.
Catalina rounded out its SCO study by offering advice to retailers planning their long-term automation strategy for checkout lanes. Suggestions include:
Catalina is a leader in shopper intelligence and highly targeted in-store, TV, radio, podcast and digital media that personalizes the shopper journey. Powered by the world's richest real-time shopper database, Catalina helps retailers, CPG brands and agencies optimize every stage of media planning, execution and measurement to deliver $6.1 billion in consumer value annually. Catalina has no higher priority than ensuring the privacy and security of the data entrusted to the company and maintaining consumer trust. Catalina has operations in the United States, Costa Rica, Europe and Japan. To learn more, visit www.catalina.com or @Catalina on Twitter.
Dry fruits and nuts are packed with healthy and essential nutrients. Consuming them is also a great way to prevent cardiovascular problems as dry fruits and nuts especially help in reducing the risk of coronary heart problems. According to a latest Australian study, the intake of almonds in specific can help in cutting down and burning calories.
The research was lead by the researchers of the University of South Australia. It suggests that a handful of almonds can help in keeping a few additional kilograms of weight at bay. The researchers reveal that a snack containing just 30 to 50 grams of almonds can help in encouraging weight loss and weight management.
The study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition. It also reveals that people who eat almonds instead of an energy-equivalent carbohydrate snack, their energy consumption by 300 kilojoules at the next meal. The majority of this sum comes from fast and junk food.
Talking along the lines Dr Sharayah Carter from UniSA's Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA) shares that the research helps in providing insights into weight management.
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"The rates of overweight and obesity are one of the major public health concerns and modulating appetite through better hormonal response may cater to help the most when it comes to promoting weight management. Our research examined the hormones that help in regulating human appetite, and how nuts - specifically almonds - might contribute to appetite control. Upon analysis we found that people who ate almonds experienced changes in their appetite-regulating hormones and also that these may have contributed to reduced food intake as much as by 300kJ."
According to the study, consumption of almonds is associated with lower levels of C-peptide responses, and higher levels of glucose. It also finds that it can also produce small changes in energy level of people.
BOSTON – A new study found that improved nutrition could help older adults stave off memory loss. One problem, however, is that healthy foods like fresh produce and lean proteins can be expensive.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government program that helps families in need afford healthy foods.
Researchers at Columbia University looked at more than 3,500 people 50 and older and found that those who participated in SNAP had slower rates of memory decline compared to those not enrolled in the program.
In fact, the SNAP participants had about two fewer years of cognitive aging over a 10-year period, suggesting that providing nutrition benefits to low-income adults could help slow age-related memory loss.
Two women each lost over 11 pounds while taking part in a study that sent electric shocks to the part of the brain linked to cravings.
Robyn Baldwin, 58, and Lena Tolly, 48, who both have obesity and binge eating disorders, tried extreme dieting and even bariatric surgery, but couldn’t keep the weight off.
But they both reportedly found success during a six-month, two-person trial in which a small implant zapped the hypothalamus to help scramble thoughts of cravings, according to the New York Times.
“I could go into the pharmacy and not even think about ice cream,” Baldwin, a self-described “chunko child,” said of breaking her bad habit of swinging past Ben & Jerry’s on the way to the drugstore.
“It’s not like I don’t think about food at all,” she added. “But I’m no longer a craving person.”
The implant reportedly even changed the women’s food preferences. Before the study, Baldwin craved sweet foods but now prefers savory ones. Tolly said she would sometimes eat peanut butter from the jar, but now she doesn’t crave it.
“It’s not self control,” Tolly said. “I make better choices.” However, she still avoids food that does not appeal to her: “I am not signing up for kale.”
The pilot study — which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine in August — was mainly conducted to make sure the implant is safe. But its promising effects were “really impressive and exciting,” said Dr. Casey Halpern, the study’s senior author and an associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, in a news release.
Neither of the two patients reported any side effects from the implant, either. One of them no longer fits the criteria of having a binge-eating disorder.
However, it’s too early for doctors to link the implant with weight loss, as there could be a placebo effect from the surgery or the effect could wear off over time.
Tolly and Baldwin will keep taking part in the study for six more months while researchers look for four more people to try it out.
Consider replacing the sugar you consume with honey, says a new study from researchers at the University of Toronto.
For people on a healthy diet in which no more than 10% of daily calories come from sugar, honey actually provides cardiometabolic benefits.
The study is a review and meta-analysis of the effects of honey in 18 controlled feeding trials involving 1,105 predominantly healthy individuals.
Taken together, the trials showed that honey lowered fasting blood glucose (blood sugar levels on an empty stomach), total and “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, as well as a marker of fatty liver disease. They also found that honey increased markers of inflammation.
While sugars of all kinds are associated with cardiometabolic issues — and honey is 80% sugar — the study’s authors suggest that honey may be in a category of its own, and worthy of special consideration as a healthy food.
The researchers found that raw honey and monofloral honey provide the most cardiometabolic benefit.
The study appears in Nutrition Reviews.
Unlike most sweeteners, honey’s sweetening power does not come exclusively from common sugars, such as fructose and glucose.
Co-author of the study Dr. Tauseef Ahmad Khan, research associate at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada, told Medical News Today:
“Around 15% of honey is made of dozens of rare sugars — e.g., isomaltulose, kojibiose, trehalose, melezitose, etc. — which have been shown to have many physiological and metabolic benefits including improving glucose response, reducing insulin resistance, and promoting [the] growth of bacteria associated with a healthy gut.”
In addition, said Dr. Khan, honey contains much more than sugars.
This includes, he said, “many bioactive molecules, including polyphenols, flavonoids, and organic acids that have an array of pharmacological properties including antibiotic effect, anti-cancer effect, anti-obesogenic [anti-obesity] effect, protection against free radical damage and reducing inflammation, etc.”
Endocrinologist Dr. Ana Maria Kausel, who was not involved in the study, told MNT that she would nevertheless prefer the focus remain on reducing the intake of sugar.
“I think the focus should be more towards having less sugar overall in the diet. The benefits were seen after consuming an average of 40 grams for 8 weeks. This amount of sugar is more than what the body can process without involving the liver. We can see similar benefits in [cardiovascular] and metabolic risks without the sugar intake, for example, the Mediterranean diet,” she pointed out.
Honey products are frequently pasteurized — raw honey is not.
Honey is pasteurized for convenience, not safety, since the processing slows honey’s naturally occurring granulation, which can make it harder to pour out of a squeeze bottle or measure into a spoon.
The current study found that raw honey had a particularly positive effect on fasting glucose.
Most honey is polyfloral, meaning that the bees that produce it collect nectar from any nectar-producing plants within a 2-to-4-mile range from their hive.
A monofloral honey is one that is derived exclusively from the bee-collected nectar of a single type of plant, or even a single plant.
Well-known monofloral honeys include Tupelo honey — from White Ogeechee Tupelo trees — clover honey, robinia honey, and French lavender honey. Each has a distinctive flavor.
The researchers found that clover and robinia monofloral honeys lowered LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol, as well as fasting triglycerides. Clover honey also reduced fasting glucose levels.
Excessive inflammation is increasingly associated with a variety of illnesses and conditions, so the study’s finding that honey raised inflammation markers IL-6 and TNF-alpha may provide rise to some concern.
However, Dr. Khan suggested that an increase in these markers may actually indicate additional benefits.
“IL-6 may play a role in maintaining good glucose control by improving whole body metabolism of both glucose and lipids,” he said. “Similarly, TNF-alpha is an indicator of innate body immune response, so an increase with honey intake may suggest improved immunity.”
“I am interested,” said Dr. Khan, “in all natural sweeteners, and plan to look at maple syrup and, of course, agave syrup. However, there is a major difference between these syrups and honey.”
“Syrups like maple syrup and agave are directly obtained from plants, with some processing by humans using heat, and are mainly composed of common sugars like fructose, glucose, and sucrose,” he added/
As Dr. Kausel put it, “agave is natural, but it’s fructose at the end of the day.“
“High fructose concentrations,” she pointed out, “are bad for the liver, no matter what the source is. Even natural juices are harmful for the liver, despite all the vitamins and minerals they might contain.”
Still, the way honeybees make honey adds an interesting twist that make its sugars different.
“Honey,” explained Dr. Khan, “has an additional step whereby the honeybees extensively process nectar [which is mainly sucrose] from flowers with their enzymes, which results in a large variety of rare sugars being produced in honey. These rare sugars are the key to the benefits of honey sugars over other natural sugars.”
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - If you’re thinking about how much time your kid spends playing video games, a new study that might make you feel a bit better.
A study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found gaming may actually help with several things, including cognition and impulse control.
The study looked at 9 and 10-year-olds who reported their activity on screens and games. It’s the largest of its kind to date.
The study found kids who played video games three or more hours a day did better on tasks that required memory and impulse control than those who did not play.
The children who did play games also had higher activity levels associated with attention and working memory in parts of the brain.
You can read the complete study, published in Jama Network Open, here.
Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.
Carb lovers rejoice! This delectable starch, long a guilty pleasure, just might be a secret weapon when trying to “lose weight with little effort.”
Researchers have discovered the surprising health benefit of potatoes — as it turns out, these spuds are incredibly nutrient-dense and could be a crucial “part of a healthy diet,” according to a new study by researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The root vegetable has long been snubbed as too starchy for people with insulin resistance, and was once thought of as a contributor to type 2 diabetes. But the tater’s bad rap might be rectified now that scientists claim it can be part of the ideal diet.
This is great news for those who loaded up on grandma’s famous mashed potatoes over Thanksgiving, or who over-indulge in carbs at holiday feasts come December and New Year’s.
Because the starch is low calorie but very filling, researchers found that filling a plate full of potatoes can contribute to a shrinking waistline.
“People tend to eat the same weight of food regardless of calorie content in order to feel full,” professor Candida Rebello, a co-author of the study, told SWNS. “By eating foods with a heavier weight that are low in calories, you can easily reduce the number of calories you consume.”
The study included 36 people between the ages of 18 and 60 who were overweight, obese or had insulin resistance. Participants were given two different diets, both high in fruits and veggies and swapped 40% of the typical American meat consumption with beans, peas or potatoes.
Beans have been touted as a diabetes superfood, as doctors once crowned the legume the best at keeping blood sugars stable — but these researchers were putting that theory to the test.
“The key aspect of our study is that we did not reduce the portion size of meals but lowered their caloric content by including potatoes,” Rebello continued. “Each participant’s meal was tailored to their personalized calorific needs, yet by replacing some meat content with potato, participants found themselves fuller, quicker and often did not even finish their meal.”
Rebello’s buzz quote: “In effect, you can lose weight with little effort.”
Potatoes contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, folate and fiber, which all promote health, and have also been found to have antioxidants.
The potatoes were boiled — with the skins on — then placed in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours to maximize their fiber. The spuds were then included in lunch and dinner for the participants in the form of mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie, wedges, salad and scalloped.
Upon nutrient comparison, scientists discovered potatoes were just as healthy as beans and peas.
“We demonstrated that contrary to common belief, potatoes do not negatively impact blood glucose levels,” Rebello stated. “In fact, the individuals who participated in our study lost weight.”
The study, which was published in the Journal of Medical Food, confirmed that people can still maintain a healthy diet and indulge in some potatoes, challenging what was previously believed about the once-damned starch.
“People typically do not stick with a diet they don’t like or isn’t varied enough,” the professor continued. “The meal plans provided a variety of dishes, and we showed that a healthy eating plan can have varied options for individuals striving to eat healthy.”
Obviously carb lovers can’t only chow down on potatoes, but foregoing them altogether also isn’t necessary. In fact, potatoes are “fairy inexpensive” and are easily incorporated into everyday meals.
Dr. John Kirwan, the study’s lead investigator and the executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, used the study to research the effects of food on diabetes and obesity, saying there is more to know about “complex disease” and how to solve it.
“Obesity is an incredibly complex disease that we are tackling on three different fronts: research that looks at how and why our bodies react the way they do, research that looks at individual responses to diet and physical activity, and policy-level discussions and community programs that bring our research into strategies our local and global communities can use to live healthier lives,” he said. “These new data on the impact of potatoes on our metabolism is an exciting addition to the arsenal of evidence we have to do just that.”
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Six supplements that people commonly take for heart health don’t help lower “bad” cholesterol or Improve cardiovascular health, according to a study published Sunday, but statins did.
Some people believe that common dietary supplements – fish oil, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, plant sterols and red yeast rice – will lower their “bad” cholesterol. “Bad” cholesterol, known in the medical community as low-density lipoproteins or LDL, can cause the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. The fatty deposits can block the flow of oxygen and blood that the heart needs to work and the blockage can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
For this study, which was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022 and simultaneously published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers compared the impact of these particular supplements to the impact of a low dose of a statin – a cholesterol-lowering medication – or a placebo, which does nothing.
Researchers made this comparison in a randomized, single-blind clinical trial that involved 190 adults with no prior history of cardiovascular disease. Study participants were ages 40 to 75, and different groups got a low-dose statin called rosuvastatin, a placebo, fish oil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, plant sterols or red yeast rice for 28 days.
The statin had the greatest impact and significantly lowered LDL compared with the supplements and placebo.
The average LDL reduction after 28 days on a statin was nearly 40%. The statin also had the added benefit on total cholesterol, which dropped on average by 24%, and on blood triglycerides, which dropped 19%.
None of the people who took the supplements saw any significant decrease in LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol or blood triglycerides, and their results were similar to those of people who took a placebo. While there were similar adverse events in all the groups, there were a numerically higher number of problems among those who took the plant sterols or red yeast rice.
“We designed this study because many of us have had the same experience of trying to recommend evidence-based therapies that reduce cardiovascular risks to patients and then having them say ‘no thanks, I’ll just try this supplement,’ ” said study co-author Dr. Karol Watson, professor of medicine/cardiology and co-director, UCLA Program in Preventive Cardiology. “We wanted to design a very rigid, randomized, controlled trial study to prove what we already knew and show it in a rigorous way.”
Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist and researcher at the Cleveland Clinic and a co-author on the study, said that patients often don’t know that dietary supplements aren’t tested in clinical trials. He calls these supplements “21st century snake oil.”
In the United States, the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act of 1994 sharply limited the US Food and Drug Administration’s ability to regulate supplements. Unlike pharmaceutical products that have to be proven safe and effective for their intended use before a company can market them, the FDA doesn’t have to approve dietary supplements before they can be sold. It is only after they are on the market and are proven to be unsafe that the FDA can step in to regulate them.
“Patients believe studies have been done and that they are as effective as statins and can save them because they’re natural, but natural doesn’t mean safe and it doesn’t mean they’re effective,” Nissen said.
The study was funded via an unrestricted grant from AstraZeneca, which makes rosuvastatin. The company did not have any input on the methodology, data analysis and discussion of the clinical implications, according to the study.
The researchers acknowledged some limitations, including the study’s small sample size, and that its 28-study period might not capture the effect of supplements when used for a longer duration.
In a statement on Sunday, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association for the dietary supplement industry, said “supplements are not intended to replace medications or other medical treatments.”
“Dietary supplements are not intended to be quick fixes and their effects may not be revealed during the course of a study that only spans four weeks,” Andrea Wong, the group’s senior vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs, said in a statement.
Dr. James Cireddu, an invasive cardiologist University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute Cleveland, Ohio, said the work is going to be helpful.
“They did a nice job collecting data and looking at the outcomes,” said Cireddu, who did not work on the study. “It will probably resonate with patients. I get asked about supplements all the time. I think this does a nice job of providing evidence.”
Dr. Amit Khera, chair of the AHA Scientific Sessions programming committee, did not work on the research, but said he thought this was an important study to include in the presentations this year.
“I take care of patients every day with these exact questions. Patients always ask about the supplements in lieu of or in addition to statins,” said Khera, who is a professor and director of preventive cardiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “I think if you have high quality evidence and a well done study it is really critical to help inform patients about the value, or in this case the lack of value, for some of these supplements for cholesterol lowering.”
Statins have been around for more than 30 years and they’ve been studied in over 170,000 people, he said. Consistently, studies show that statins lower risk.
“The good news, we know statins work,” Khera said. “That does not mean they’re perfect. That doesn’t mean everyone needs one, but for those at higher risk, we know they work and that’s well proven. If you’re going to do something different you have to make sure it works.”
With supplements, he said he often sees misinformation online.
“I think that people are always looking for something ‘natural’ but you know there’s a lot of issues with that terminology and most important we should ask do they work? That’s what this study does,” Khera adds. “It’s important to ask, are you taking something that is proven, and if you’re doing that and it’s not, is that in lieu of proven treatment. It’s a real concern.”
A new study showed that patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience fewer symptoms after using marijuana-based products.
IBD refers to two conditions, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), which are long-term medical problems that cause chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms range from pain, cramping, or bloating to weight loss and fatigue. There is currently no cure for either Crohn's disease or UC.
Researchers of the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, investigated patterns of medical cannabis use and adverse effects in patients with IBD.
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An anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted among patients over 18 who self-reported a diagnosis of IBD and among those with access to medical cannabis dispensaries in New York and Minnesota.
According to the study, "of 236 respondents, overall IBD disease activity was mild-to-moderate. Most respondents (61.0%) took a biological. The median frequency of MC use was at least once within the past week. Most respondents used products with high Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol content (87.5%) through vape pens/cartridges (78.6%)."
Patients reported "fewer emergency room visits in the 12 months after MMJ use compared to before and less impact of symptoms on daily life." Seventy-five percent of patients reported euphoria as well as other common side effects reported by respondents such as drowsiness, lightheadedness or memory lapses, dry mouth/eyes, and anxiety/depression or paranoia.
According to the researchers, medical cannabis users with IBD "perceive symptom benefits and report decreased emergency room visits without serious adverse effects."
Researchers stressed that more study is needed. "Further studies are needed to confirm these results with objective measures of healthcare utilization and disease activity."
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