What We’re Reading: Safeway’s Simple Nutrition Program

Safeway is introducing a new program that makes it easier for shoppers to identify healthful foods in their grocery stores. Citing shoppers’ confusion and distrust of conventional nutrition labels, Safeway created its “Simple Nutrition Program” as a way of highlighting 22 different categories, such as “sodium-smart,” “sugar-free,” “organic,” and more. Green tags featuring one or two nutritional features will be placed on qualifying items. Hopefully, says a spokeswoman for Safeway, the program will provide “shoppers with a quick snapshot of the nutrition and ingredient benefits that best match their nutritional needs.”

In addition to food labels in-store, Safeway has also created a healthy living Web site in order to explain the “Simple Nutrition Program” and better help shoppers find healthful products. Eventually, the online tool may help shoppers personalize their grocery lists based on their preferred nutritional criteria before they even set foot in the grocery store.

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To find out more about this program, visit www.safeway.com/IFL/Grocery/Healthy-Living.

This blog entry was written by Web Intern Helen Zhu.

  • Deb

    I was very surprised to see “Sodium Smart” identified as less than or equal to 480 mg per individual item. I would have expected those to be much lower, especially since that is the minimum required of all the foods in the program. Why have a separate sodium category if it’s not lower?
    Also, from what I undestand, there are only 2 tags per item, so if I were looking for a particular tag I might miss items.
    I’m not convinced this program is a step in the right direction.

  • acampbell

    Hi,

    Just wanted to mention that SUPERVALU, one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, implemented a nutrition shelf tag program called nutrition iQ prior to the launch of Safeway’s program. Nutrition iQ launched in 2009 and is currently available in Acme, Albertson’s, Cub Food, Farm Fresh, Hornbachers, Jewel-Osco, and Shoppers, and will soon be in Shaw’s, as well. This program focuses on both the center store items as well as produce, fresh meats, the deli, and bakery items. In addition to simple but helpful shelf tags, nutrition iQ uses signs that feature key attributes of various foods, such as “excellent source of fiber” and “important for muscle and bone health.” These and other nutrition attributes have made it easier for consumers to make healthier choices in the grocery store.