Helping customers to feel good and inspiring them to adopt a healthy lifestyle are important roles played by ICA Gruppen. With food stores, pharmacies and Minute Clinics, ICA Gruppen is active throughout the area of health – from prevention, care and remedies to guidance and inspiration for healthy living. Through products that address issues concerning additives, allergies, trends and lifestyles, ICA Gruppen can spread information and inspire customers to make conscious choices on a daily basis. This work is always based on official Nordic dietary guidelines and nutritional recommendations.
Examples of activities
Kompis med kroppen (“Buddy with your Body”) is as top priority initiative of ICA Gruppen to promote physical health. Our ambition is to instil an understanding among children at a young age for how good food and exercise can help them become better buddies with their bodies.
ICA has been supporting Cancerfonden since the 1950s and, together with Apotek Hjärtat, has been a main partner of the Pink Ribbon campaign in Sweden since the start in 2003. Every autumn we help collect money for cancer research through sales both of pink ribbons and of products adorning pink packaging in our stores.
To encourage more people to reflect over their lifestyle habits, Apotek Hjärtat has launched Hälsokvittot – an online comprehensive health exam. The cost-free exam is based on the National Board of Health and Welfare’s guidelines and was designed by researchers at Linköping University.
Interest in health and wellbeing is great in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and as a leading grocery retailer Rimi Baltic wants to contribute to healthy lifestyles in various ways involving food and drink as well as regular exercise. Just as in the rest of ICA Gruppen, children and young people have extra high priority.
Among other initiatives, Rimi Baltic has introduced the Choose Healthier label, based on the Keyhole criteria, for a large number of healthier product alternatives in various categories. Just like ICA Sweden, Rimi is also encouraging greater consumption of fruit and vegetables, among other ways through a partnership with the accelerator Future Hub, where it has invited European start-ups to help develop innovative solutions that can contribute to the goal of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
In addition, Rimi Baltic supports numerous sports and exercise initiatives, including the Rimi Riga Marathon, the Rimi Vilnius Marathon, and the 10km run in conjunction with the Tallinn marathon.
Promoting mental health is one of three priority areas in ICA’s health strategy. Many people in society suffer from loneliness, and more and more say that they do not feel well mentally. ICA Gruppen conducts various initiatives within this framework.
Cooperation with Mind
Apotek Hjärtat has been involved in a long-term cooperation agreement with the mental health organisation Mind to highlight and improve support for people suffering from mental health issues. The partnership partly involves financial support from Apotek Hjärtat for the helplines that Mind operates for parents, older people and those at risk of suicide, and partly joint communication, information and education in the area of mental health. ICA Stiftelsen also has a partnership with Mind.
In 2020 ICA Bank and ICA Insurance launched an initiative called Vardagsvän (“Everyday Friend”) to draw attention to mental health issues among children and young adults. It is a joint initiative with the Jourhavande Kompis chat helpline, a programme of the Swedish Red Cross Youth. The partnership aims to draw attention to the Jourhavande Kompis helpline as a resource for support and a channel that young people can use when they need someone to talk to.
Stress and worries coupled to a personal accident or financial problems can lead to mental ill-health and sick leave. To address this problem, ICA Insurance offers cost-free talk support to customers who have a home mortgage or a consumer loan with borrowers protection with ICA Insurance or through their accident insurance. Using the BlueCall app, customers can chat or talk with a therapist on various mental health problems.
Many ICA stores around the country are working with different initiatives to make healthy choices easy and promote a healthy lifestyle. These range from joint efforts to partnerships with other actors in local communities.
Here are some examples of health promotion work being conducted:
- At the ICA Kvantum store in Varberg, which for many years has had extra strong focus on health, activities involve the participation of customers and employees as well as people in the local community. Among other things the stores relies on self-assessments and surveys to learn how store employees feel and to be able to take action where needed. This even includes agreements with massage therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists. Customers are encouraged to make healthy choices through signage and displays that promote healthy alternatives. The store has also worked extensively with Papricaklubben (ICA Kvantum’s children’s club) and Papricaloppet, a very popular fun run for children. On top of this the store is actively participating in a research study that is focusing on how ICA’s Matkasse food kits can be used to help families address overweight issues with children.
- Offering advice on healthier eating habits. At ICA Vretgänd in Uppsala, the store proprietor has formal training as a dietitian and uses this knowledge to give customers advice and inspire them to adopt healthier eating habits.
- Joining together with other retailers to demonstrate the importance of eating more fruit and vegetables. The ICA Toppen store in Höllviken has teamed up with several other Kvantum stores to launch the book Växtkraft, which discusses the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables.
- Sponsoring exercise activities for children and young people, who are prioritised categories in ICA’s health work. For example, every year ICA Supermarket in Moheda holds Glädjeruset, a fun run for people young and old.