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Supervalu expands Nutrition iQ program

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu on Thursday announced the expansion of its exclusive in-store nutritional navigation program, "Nutrition iQ," to include the fresh food departments and more robust nutrition information for the center store.

“Nutrition iQ is one of the many programs and services we offer in-store to help customers create healthy lifestyles," stated 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,” she said. "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.”

The expanded program will feature additional nutritional attributes and health benefit information, 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, currently is available at more than 800 stores, including Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco and Shoppers. The expanded program recently launched at Albertsons stores in Southern California and Nevada, with other banners and locations scheduled to roll out later this year.

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% 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.

The Nutrition iQ program, which was developed and implemented in collaboration with dietitians from Joslin Clinic, 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 — now will receive Nutrition iQ signs.

The fresh departments now also will 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."

Following are the different nutrient attributes now included in the expanded Nutrition iQ program, along with the corresponding colored icon:

  • Light blue tags — Such minerals as calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc;

  • Dark purple tags — Vitamins A, B, C and K;

  • Red tags — Omega-3 fats and low saturated fat;

  • Pink tags — 100% juice;

  • Orange tags — Excellent or good source of fiber;

  • Yellow tags — Excellent or good source of protein;

  • Green tags — Low or healthier level of sodium;

  • Purple tags — Low calorie; and

  • Dark orange tags — Whole grains.

The key health benefits that now will be called out as part of the Nutrition iQ program in the fresh produce area include bone health, digestive health, energy and muscle, eye health, heart health, immune system and skin health.

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Kraft appoints EVP strategy

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft Foods on Wednesday named a former Bain & Co. executive to the position of EVP strategy, effective Jan. 29.

Sam Rovit succeeds Michael Osanloo, who was named president of Kraft Foods’ North American grocery business. Rovit, a 20-year business veteran with global growth and cost leadership strategy experience, will report to chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld and be a member of the company’s executive team.

"Sam has impressive strategic and operational experience in the consumer packaged goods industry as CEO of Swift and as a senior partner in a blue-chip consulting firm," Rosenfeld said. "His deep understanding of corporate, customer, category and channel strategies will be instrumental in Kraft’s delivery of top-tier financial results."

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Organic product purchases increase at traditional grocers

BY Allison Cerra

SHELTON, Conn. — Organic product purchases among consumers have been fairly consistent over the past three years, but more shoppers are looking to mass retailers to purchase such items.

According to the TABS Group, a marketing research and consulting company, more than one-quarter (27%) of 1,000 consumers purchased organic fresh fruits, the highest penetration category. Additionally, the firm noted that while skin care and hair care were the only two categories that experienced consecutive years of annual gains of 7% and 5%, respectively, milk (16%) and ice cream (4%) experienced declines in consecutive years.

In terms of places to buy organic purchases, the big winners over the year were traditional grocers, which rose from 41% to 44.1%, and Target, which increased from 1.8% to 4.1%. Total natural foods outlets fell from being the most preferred by 26.8% in 2009 to 24.4% in January 2011, a 9% drop, according to Kurt Jetta, TABS Group founder and president. Jetta added that increased organic SKUs boosted traditional grocers as a go-to for consumers to buy the organic products.

"Any growth in organics from one outlet must … necessarily come at the expense of another channel," Jetta said.

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