MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starting the year off healthy just got easier as SUPERVALU® (NYSE: SVU), one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, expands its exclusive in-store nutritional navigation program, “nutrition iQ®,” to include the fresh food departments and more robust nutrition information for the center store. The expanded program will feature additional nutritional attributes and health benefit information, offering consumers an enhanced storewide solution for identifying better-for-you foods — from the center store grocery, frozen food and dairy sections to the newly included fresh produce, self-service meat and seafood departments.
The nutrition iQ program, launched in 2009, is currently available at more than 800 stores including: Acme®, Albertsons®, Cub Foods®, Farm Fresh®, Hornbacher’s® and Shoppers®. The expanded program has just launched at Albertsons stores in Southern California and Nevada, with other banners and locations scheduled to roll out later this year. Jewel-Osco® stores in Chicago have introduced the complete nutrition iQ program, including the fresh departments, for the first time.
“nutrition iQ is one of the many programs and services we offer in-store to help customers create healthy lifestyles,” said Heidi Diller, SUPERVALU dietitian. “With our expanded nutrition iQ program, shoppers will find the additional knowledge, clarity and simplicity they need to make better-for-you food choices, whether they simply want to eat a bit more healthfully or need help managing health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart health.”
nutrition iQ: Smart eating made easier
The nutrition iQ program, which was developed and implemented in collaboration with dietitians from Joslin Clinic, part of an academic medical center affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, features color-coded icons on shelf tags and signs that serve as at-a-glance cues to help shoppers identify and find healthy food options. With the expanded program, qualifying items in stores’ fresh departments — produce, self-service meat and seafood — will now receive nutrition iQ signs.
Even further, the fresh departments will now feature informational signs highlighting key attributes of the foods receiving nutrition iQ signs, such as “Excellent/good source of fiber,” “Helps support healthy digestion,” “Excellent/good source of Vitamin C,” “Promotes skin and immune health,” “Excellent/good source of potassium” and “Important for muscle and bone health.”
As an example, while shoppers may be aware that fresh items such as tomatoes are better-for-you foods, the nutrition iQ sign will call out the product’s specific health benefits, such as Good source Vitamin A “Promotes eye, skin and immune health” and Good source Vitamin C “Promotes skin and immune health.”
Following are the different nutrient attributes now included in the expanded nutrition iQ program, along with the corresponding colored icon:
- Minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc are denoted by light blue tags
- Vitamins A, C and K by dark purple tags
- B vitamins as well as folate by dark purple tags
- Omega 3 fats and low saturated fat by red tags
- 100 percent juice by pink tags
- Excellent or good source of fiber by orange tags
- Excellent or good source of protein by yellow tags
- Low or healthier level of sodium by green tags
- Low calorie by a purple tag
- Whole grains by a dark orange tag
The key health benefits that will now be called out as part of the nutrition iQ program in the fresh produce area are:
- Bone health
- Digestive health
- Energy and muscle
- Eye health
- Heart health
- Immune system
- Skin health
In addition, the center store program is expanding from the original nutritional attributes to now include the following: 100 percent juice and vitamins A, C and iron.
“Mothers tell us the tags are like a GPS system for them — they lead the way and help them easily find the healthier products with kids in tow,” said Diller. “The expanded nutrition iQ program is perfect for consumers who want easy and practical tips to help them eat better-for-you foods. By highlighting the nutrition attributes and health benefits, we can help consumers understand how nutritional factors influence their diet so they have a better chance of realizing success in managing their health.”
Better-for-you cues at the store shelf
“Joslin was pleased to collaborate with SUPERVALU to implement the nutrition iQ program,” said Amy Campbell, MS, RD, CDE, manager, clinical education programs, Joslin Clinic. “nutrition iQ uses established FDA nutrient content claims as a framework to evaluate the nutritional content of products throughout the entire grocery store — regardless of manufacturer, brand or price. Categories were evaluated to establish a standard to qualify and then each brand or product within that category was evaluated to call out to the consumer the top one or two salient nutrition benefits.”
Campbell continued, “In addition, the simplicity of nutrition iQ not only makes it easier for consumers to understand the often confusing Nutrition Facts food label, it enables them to choose foods specifically for the health benefits that they provide, such as bone health or digestive health.”
SUPERVALU has evaluated more than 80,000 products in the center store aisles. Customers will see an average of 2,400 to 2,600 tags at the shelves in key food categories. Approximately 10 percent of the items in each center store category have received a nutrition iQ tag. For the fresh expansion, key nutritional attributes and health benefits are called out for select produce items.
“At SUPERVALU, we believe we have an obligation to be a conduit of information for shoppers and to do what we can to positively influence the health of our communities through ongoing consumer education; and nutrition iQ is one way we’re striving to do that,” Diller said.
To learn more about nutrition iQ, go to www.nutritioniq.com.
About Joslin Clinic
Joslin Clinic, part of an academic medical center affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, is internationally recognized for its work in the area of nutrition, especially relating to obesity and diabetes.
About SUPERVALU INC.
SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the U.S. grocery channel with estimated annual sales of $38 billion. SUPERVALU serves customers across the United States through a network of approximately 4,280 stores composed of approximately 1,160 traditional retail stores, including 813 in-store pharmacies; 1,210 hard-discount stores, of which 876 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,910 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s traditional food distribution business. SUPERVALU has approximately 150,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU, visit www.supervalu.com.