Dollar General tries to make healthy food more accessible

(CNN) -- Two liters of Dr. Pepper costs $1.80 at a Dollar General store in Union City, NJ. A 10-oz bag of Twizzlers sells for $1.50.

But the low-end retailer is attempting a high-end revamp of its food offerings — adding yogurt, nuts, protein bars, veggie snacks, and coconut water to meet customer demand for healthier choices.

Dollar General (DG) has recently added around 125 "better for you" items to its shelves in 2,700 stores. The products appear under Dollar General's Good & Smart house brand, and the store also carries Annie's, Back to Nature, Honest, Nature Valley, and Kashi brands. On Tuesday, Dollar General said the initiative was performing better than it expected, and it has plans to roll out to more stores next year.

The chain began offering the products after getting feedback from shoppers who could not find affordable food with low sodium, calorie, fat and sugar levels or without artificial sweeteners, said Dollar General's Chief Merchandising Officer Jason Reiser.

"These types of healthy food options seemed out of reach," Reiser said.

Dollar General's move signals the wider consumer shift to healthier foods is beginning to take hold among low-income shoppers. Dollar General, which sells most of its items for under $10, serves a wide range of demographics. But its primary customers are value-conscious and come from low-and-fixed income households.