Dollar General Is Sticking With Fresh Food & Healthier Options

mbg Editorial Assistant By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Editorial Assistant
Eliza Sullivan is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She has bachelor's degrees in journalism and english literature from Boston University.

Image by Trent Lanz / Stocksy

In a win for healthy eaters across the country, national brand Dollar General has announced that it will continue to add fresh produce to stores in the new year. It is currently offered in 600 stores, but they're expected to grow that program by nearly 50% with the planned addition of produce to 250 stores in 2020 as a part of the DG Fresh program.

After reporting strong growth in their quarterly report, the brand has indicated further growth going into 2020 in their food offerings in general. According to their report, "consumables" accounted for nearly 10% more of sales in this quarter for 2019 versus the same quarter in 2018.

"I am excited about the future and the plans we have in place to continue serving our customers," said Todd Vasos, Dollar General's chief executive officer. On Thursday, Vasos and John Garratt, the brand's chief financial officer, hosted a conference call during which they elaborated on the third-quarter numbers and plans going forward. 

In 2018 they launched the "Better for You" campaign, an effort to provide consumers with more healthy options in their stores. Continued growth and success in offering fresh, whole-foods and better packaged products have encouraged growth. According to the brand, DG Fresh now represents 8% of the sales.

In many of Dollar General's stores (which are in 44 states), they offer a "Feel Good Foods" section with curated products, featuring foods like dried fruits, nuts, and healthier alternatives to favorite snacks. Many of these products are from Dollar General's own healthy foods brand "Good & Smart."

The overall DG Fresh program will see an even larger growth in 2020 than the produce program. They expect to surpass their original estimate of having the program in 5,000 stores by the end of this year and plan to continue investing resources in growing that program. They currently operate four of their own distribution centers for fresh and frozen foods and plan to add a fifth in the very near future.

On the call Thursday, Vasos said the improvements could mean that "more and more introductions into frozen and dairy will also fall into some Better For You–type categories." The strong customer response to the initiative has motivated the brand to continue expanding their healthful options.

"We are very excited about the results we are seeing from this initiative," said Vasos, "as well as the long-term potential benefit it can deliver for our customers and our business."

Dollar General's commitment to better food options through their own products is an exciting example of a major brand committing to supporting the well-being of their customers.

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