YUM! innovates online fitness tool

Articles
January 08, 2009

YUM! innovates online fitness tool

America has an incoming president with washboard abs and a pretty good crossover dribble. His move to Washington coincides with our nation’s annual resolution rituals to eat healthier, exercise more and be fitter. Now an unexpected source—Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant system at 36,000 units—offers an innovative online wellness and fitness training tool. It seems like a stretch at first, since its KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants marquees aren’t known as temples of nutrition. On second thought, however, these massive fast-feeders are undergoing their own makeovers of sorts, each offering ‘Better For You’ menu options with lower calories, less fat, grilled or multigrain components. They’re also beginning to voluntarily post product calorie information on the menu boards of company-owned restaurants. These initiatives could help the fitness message resonate more than if it came in a preachy dictum from a federal agency, feels SupermarketGuru.com.

America has an incoming president with washboard abs and a pretty good crossover dribble. His move to Washington coincides with our nation’s annual resolution rituals to eat healthier, exercise more and be fitter.

Now an unexpected source—Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant system at 36,000 units—offers an innovative online wellness and fitness training tool.  It seems like a stretch at first, since its KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants marquees aren’t known as temples of nutrition.

On second thought, however, these massive fast-feeders are undergoing their own makeovers of sorts, each offering ‘Better For You’ menu options with lower calories, less fat, grilled or multigrain components. They’re also beginning to voluntarily post product calorie information on the menu boards of company-owned restaurants. These initiatives could help the fitness message resonate more than if it came in a preachy dictum from a federal agency, feels SupermarketGuru.com.

At once, the Yum! Brands tool helps distance customers from obesity, and helps eateries connect with our population’s timely, growing desire shed bad habits and become healthier. The Yum! Brands program has several parts:
•    A free month-long trial membership to an online fitness and training tool called eFIT4ME. It is an interactive, easy to use system that customizes fitness programs, identifies eating patterns, recommends nutritional habits, and tracks against goals.
•    University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino teaches fitness and exercise tips as part of a balanced lifestyle.
•    After the first month trial, consumers can continue with eFIT4ME at $5.99 per month.

We believe a similar tool or empowering program would ring true with supermarket customers. Especially now with so much recent upheaval in the world, the time is right to help people gain greater control over an important aspect of their lives—their health.

While it’s true that food stores are no angels in the varieties they carry (there’s plenty that’s good and bad on their shelves), people who shop smartly can pretty much fill their healthful household needs under one roof. With this credibility as a base, augmented by the presence of pharmacists and nutritionists in many chains, we believe supermarkets could easily become closer partners in helping customers meet their personal fitness and wellness goals.