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Despite the fact that the compliance date for the Food and Drug Administration’s menu-labeling law has been delayed once again, SpartanNash has already implemented its requirements as of the earlier May 5 deadline: The company’s 83 Family Fare Supermarkets across five states now display calories per serving for individual serve and “restaurant-type” prepackaged items, with other nutritional facts like carbohydrates, fat and sugar available to customers upon request.
“As a value-added service to them, SpartanNash is dedicated to providing our store guests with product information throughout our stores, despite the delay in implementing the FDA rule,” said Larry Pierce, EVP of merchandising and marketing at the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company. “We want our store guests to make informed, better-for-you decisions when it comes to their meal options and portion sizes, and we believe the steps we have taken equip them to do just that.”
Digital menu boards are now in every Family Fare deli, giving SpartanNash the ability to easily update menu displays and calorie counts. To account for slight variations in recipes for hot items such as fried chicken, the company makes use of an exhaustive ingredient database within the stores’ recipe management system. The digital boards respond to any changes in the database with real-time updates.
Additionally, the stores have installed signage for bulk items such as doughnuts and rolls, as well as on build-your-own salad bars and grab-and-go fresh items like sushi, soups and sandwiches.
Other proactive grocers in the menu-labeling arena include Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets, which has also posted calorie information in stores.
Beyond menu labeling, SpartanNash offers shoppers the services of three regional wellness specialists, who raise awareness and provide resources about nutrition and better food choices through such activities as store tours, cooking classes and healthy food sampling, as well as via partnerships with local health care systems, businesses and schools.
“At SpartanNash, we want to engage our store guests in conversations about healthy eating and lifestyle choices,” added Pierce. “Through our work in our retail stores and our compliance with these menu-labeling guidelines, we play an important role in offering a wide variety of food for customers to choose from, whether it’s fresh fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers or grab-and-go options for our busy lives.”
SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers, national accounts, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries. Serving customer locations in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt, the company operates 153 supermarkets, mainly under the Family Fare Supermarkets, Family Fresh Market, D&W Fresh Market and SunMart banners. Through its MDV military division, SpartanNash is the top distributor of grocery products to military commissaries in the United States.