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In response to growing interest in health and wellness among its independent grocer-members and their customers, Associated Wholesalers, Inc. has developed the new “Eat Right for Life” nutritional information program, which is based on a scoring system that meets or exceeds all U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
Thousands of grocery items are identified via shelf price tags as having met one or two among 10 nutritional claims, including: Sugar Aware, Good Source of Calcium, Low Calorie, Low Saturated Fat, Organic, Low Sodium, Heart Healthy, Whole Grain, High Fiber and Gluten-Free.
Most stores have 1,300 to 1,800 items identified under the Eat Right for Life nutritional claims so far, with plans to expand the program to another 2,000-plus items within a year.
Eat Right for Life also includes store ceiling signs that address the healthy attributes of meat, seafood, dairy and produce. The program will evolve to include Eat Right for Life quarterly brochures, articles in Robesonia, Pa.-based AWI’s InSeason magazine, and recipes that identify the nutritional claims of ingredients.
More than 60 independent supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware have already signed on to the Eat Right for Life program, including the Shurfine Markets (stores in central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland) ShurSave Supermarkets (northeast Pennsylvania), and Family Owned Markets (central Pennsylvania) advertising groups. Other participating stores include Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill in Lancaster County; McKay’s Food and Pharmacy, and Lauer’s in Maryland, and G&E/Hocker’s in Delaware.
“We knew there would be a strong response to Eat Right for Life,” said Fred Foose, AWI’s marketing/advertising director. “Our members told us that they were looking for another way to communicate healthy-lifestyle information to their customers. They are excited about the many ways this program will offer them a chance to connect on health-and-wellness topics with their customers.”
Little Rock, Ark.-based Vestcom’s healthyAisles database is supplying the information and shelf labels to power Eat Right for Life. The customized shelf-edge communication and specialized marketing services provider gathers, manages and scores product nutrition information, supplying the attributes and printing the shelf tags.
AWI is a retailer-owned cooperative serving members and customers that operate supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the eastern United States, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. AWI provides food and household products, including its own Shurfine, Western Family and White Rose brands, from its distribution centers in Robesonia and York, Pa., as well as in Carteret, N.J.