Commissaries expand focus on health in 2011

  • Published
  • By Sallie Cauthers
  • Defense Commissary Agency
Customers who want to improve their health will have plenty of help at their local commissary as the new year rolls out a variety of special discounts, coupon booklets and giveaways.

"Our industry partners have joined together to offer our customers the most nutritious and delicious products for your mind, body and wallet," said Chris Burns, sales director for the Defense Commissary Agency. "Your local commissary is working diligently to offer the very best selection of food products worldwide at a great savings. The expansion of health and wellness products will provide our customers with healthy alternatives throughout the commissary aisles."

February is the kick-off month for a variety of health initiatives being promoted at many DeCA stores worldwide. Since some of these promotions may differ depending on location and size of the store, customers are asked to check their local commissary to see what promotions are available.

The healthy promotion lineup begins with a "Heart Truth Extraordinary" giveaway that includes a trip for two to a spa; heart monitor watches; and Heart Truth fitness packs: a gym bag, t-shirt and water bottle. This special promotion also includes discount coupon booklets that are valued at $10. This special Heart Truth program is hosted by a variety of industry partners.

Also beginning in February, there will be a "Just Add Milk!" promotion, offering high-value coupons on special select cereals, including a coupon for free milk with multiple purchases.

Karen Hawkins, the DeCA dietitian, advises customers who want to eat healthy to pay particular attention to their cereal choices.

"Look for around 5 to 10 grams sugar per serving and 5 to 10 grams fiber per serving," she said. "Add low-fat milk to make it a snack any time of day. Cereal and milk also (make) a great light meal for dinner, along with a piece of multi-grain toast and fruit."

The "Health and Wellness Food That Matters" program also makes its debut in February. It includes discounts on organic and gluten-free products. Customers are asked to look in their local commissary's general health food aisle for all of the new gluten-free products that have arrived since December.

"Creating a healthy lifestyle can be easy with a little help," Ms. Hawkins said. "To help you get started and stay on track, check out the Health and Wellness section of Get started today on eating and living a totally healthy lifestyle."

Another big promotion being unveiled in February is the "Focus on Fitness Challenge." This challenge invites customers to enter a fitness challenge to give their military community a chance to win thousands of "wellness" dollars. Customers will be offered coupons for top wellness brands. The more coupons redeemed at their local commissary, the better the chances of their local community winning cash "wellness" prizes, which result in more opportunities for the local community to focus on fitness. Customers are asked to look for Focus on Fitness banners in their local commissary.

Customers will see special posters and displays highlighting "Making Healthy Choices at the Commissary," a promotion that includes a bundle coupon tied to savings on produce, and recipe tear pads with inexpensive, healthy, quick meals.

And, last but not least, commissary customers will see pink and red hearts posters highlighting the "Heartfelt Savings - It's Worth the Trip" promotion. This promotion offers participants a chance to win a trip for two to a location or event of the customer's choosing. The winners in each DeCA region receive roundtrip airfare for two, hotel for two nights, plus $1,000 spending money for each winning couple. A two-page flyer with the entry details, as well as high-value, money-saving coupons on various brands will be located at commissaries worldwide. Customers also can register to win online.

"February is American Heart Month, so take care of your heart; you only have one," Ms. Hawkins said. "As you are eating healthier this year and losing weight, remember to fit in a little exercise, whether it is walking briskly around the block with your kids and dog or taking the stairs at work instead of waiting for the elevator."

For more information about special promotions at your local commissary, go to