Hannaford Gives Three Stars to Healthiest Foods
Hannaford Bros. is looking out for the nutritional health of its shoppers. The chain recently announced it was creating a nutritional ranking system that would alert customers using stars on shelf price tags.
One star on a shelf tag would signify a good nutritional profile while items with three stars would be deemed to be the best value.
Foods that do not even rate a star are those that fail to meet the criteria established by Hannaford’s scientific panel, which includes nutrition experts from the University of North Carolina, Dartmouth School of Medicine, Tufts University, Food Nutrition & Policy Consultants, University of California at Davis, University of Southern Maine and Harvard University.
According to a report by The Business Review (Albany, NY), less than one-quarter of the products sold in Hannaford’s stores receive a ranking of one or more stars.
Some items, such as coffee, tea and water, are not ranked because they contain less than five calories per serving. Baby foods are also not included in Hannaford’s ranking system.
Hannaford’s ranking system came out of consumer research done by the company, which found many of its shoppers were confused about the nutritional value of many foods.
Bill Greer, a spokesperson for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), called Hannaford’s star ranking system “an exceptional nutritional education program.”
Hannaford Bros. joins a number of other retailers that have developed programs to help shoppers make more informed nutritional purchasing decisions.
United Supermarkets in Lubbock, Texas, for example, uses red shelf tags to identify foods considered good for heart health.
Ukrop’s in Virginia highlights items that meet the needs of consumers looking for vegetarian, gluten-free, low-fat or low-sodium items.
Discussion Questions: What are your thoughts on the attempts by Hannaford Bros. and others to help take some of the confusion out of food choices by
consumers? Is it possible that some grocers will wind up facing negative business consequences as a result of taking some of the confusion out of the equation?
Interestingly, according to the Business Review article, only 23 percent of the more than 27,000 items carried by Hannaford Bros. rated a single
star or more.