For those who are looking to cook with health in mind, they need to look no further than two of Fort Dodge's major grocers to find nearly any product they need.
As healthy eating and cooking continues to be a growing trend, the Health Market at the Fort Dodge Hy-Vee store also continues to grow by offering the latest in organic and gluten-free products to its customers.
"We are always getting in new things," said Diane Baker, manager of the Hy-Vee Health Market. "As people become more health-conscious we see more and more customers, especially a lot of families with young children."
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson-Jenson
Hy-Vee Health Market employee Alisha Reyes organizes the store’s selection of Hubert’s Lemonade in the refrigerated section of the department. More customers are coming into the store in search of healthy, organic and gluten free items, manager Diane Baker said.
"Our Health Market has had wonderful business this year," said Tim Flaherty, director of the Fort Dodge Hy-Vee store. "That is something we want to keep growing in 2013. We have the pharmacy, and our dietitian; lots of health and wellness available to our customers."
In its new store, which opened in 2011 at Second Avenue South and South 12th Street, Fareway has also been able to offer more products to their customers.
"We're trying to always keep up on all of the new trends," said Fareway Assistant Manager Aric Reicks. "That includes all of the gluten-free and organic items we offer."
At Hy-Vee, some of the newest health friendly products include "Ice," a zero-calorie sparkling water beverage that comes in a variety of flavors; Huberts Lemonade, an all-natural flavored lemonade drink; and a variety of organic and all natural snack foods.
"The chips are becoming a popular item," Baker said. "It's one of those items where they can eat healthy but still enjoy a snack."
The Health Market also offers a large selection of granola cereals, milks, Greek yogurt, eggs and juices.
"The tart cherry juice has been a pretty popular item," said Baker. "All of the juices are big."
If a customer cannot find an item they need in the Health Market, Baker said they are always open to suggestions to bring new products to the store.
"We like people to know, if they can't find it here, just let us know they want it and we can get it in," she said.
At Fareway, an expanded produce department with new shelving gives customers more choices.
"That gives us a chance to offer more products," said Reicks.
Other items added to Fareway's selection include new breads from the in-house bakery, a propane exchange site, fresh cut flowers and a line of gourmet pizzas.
"We want to carry the items our customers want - give them the products and service they deserve," said Reicks.
A new program in 2013 at Hy-Vee is the Fuel Saver program. Customers can go online or stop into any Hy-Vee store to sign up for a card which can be scanned when making purchases of products from a special weekly ad to take various amounts off of the price of a gallon of gas. The cards can be used locally at Casey's General Stores and also at Hy-Vee Gas and select Shell stations.
"We're helping our customers save money on one of their biggest expenses, which is fuel," said Flaherty. "You can save up to whatever you want to on fuel."
Flaherty said the main thing he wants the store to continue to provide is a customer-friendly environment.
"We're going to keep moving forward," he said. "We will keep greeting our customers with a smile and just keep creating the best experience possible for them."