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    Farm Fresh Adopts ‘nutrition iQ’ Program

    Supervalu banner Farm Fresh has launched “nutrition iQ,” a nutrition information program designed to help consumers make more informed food choices at the grocery store shelf, in all 45 of its stores, which are located in Hampton Roads and Richmond, Va., and Elizabeth City, N.C.

    Supervalu banner Farm Fresh has launched “nutrition iQ,” a nutrition information program designed to help consumers make more informed food choices at the grocery store shelf, in all 45 of its stores, which are located in Hampton Roads and Richmond, Va., and Elizabeth City, N.C. Initially unveiled by Supervalu early last year, the program was developed in collaboration with Joslin Clinic, part of an academic medical center affiliated with Boston’s Harvard Medical School.

    Nutrition iQ employs color-coded shelf tags, conspicuously hung just below an item’s price tag, to help shoppers quickly identify better-for-you food options.

    “Farm Fresh is committed to helping its customers lead healthy lifestyles,” said Ron Dennis, president and COO of the Virginia Beach, Va.-based banner. “With more than 60,000 items on our grocery store shelves, it can take considerable time to read and compare nutrition labels. The nutrition iQ program provides a convenient way for consumers to evaluate food choices on the spot as they shop.”

    Dennis went on to note that the program should be of particular interest to consumers in Farm Fresh’s market area. “Local residents pride themselves on being fit, making good food choices and leading healthier lifestyles. The nutrition iQ program is part of our commitment to be a conduit of information for shoppers and make it easy for them to lead the healthy lifestyles they enjoy.”

    The program will roll out in two phases, with the first phase focusing on products center store grocery, frozen and dairy sections, areas where, according to research cited by Supervalu, people have the most frustrations and encounter the most questions about food labeling. About 1,600 products are eligible for tags as part of initial phase. Phase two will concentrate on bakery, deli, meat, produce and seafood items.

    According to Farm Fresh dietitian Jennifer Shea, “Nutrition iQ will promote overall health by taking the guesswork out of shopping for more nutritious food choices. It’s like having your own personal dietitian in the store with you.”

    Minneapolis-based Supervalu operates a network of about 4,300 stores consisting of approximately 1,200 traditional and premium stores.

    In other nutrition program news, the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), a national professional society for physicians committed to disease prevention and health promotion, has officially endorsed the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System as a simple, effective way to help consumers learn about the health benefits of food. This is the first time an independent medical/public health organization with national stature has endorsed a nonfederal nutrition guidance system, noted Dr. David Katz, director and co-founder of the Yale Prevention Research Center and one of the principal inventors behind the NuVal system.

    The ACPM received no financial compensation for bestowing its approval on the system, which was a decision based purely on merit, according to the Washington-based organization’s president, Mark B. Johnson, who added that NuVal earned the nod over other nutritional programs currently offered in supermarkets because it was developed without influence from food manufacturers, met ACPM’s standards for scientific rigor, applies to all foods and has shown an ability to influence consumers’ buying habits positively.

    The endorsement comes on the heels of a Harvard study finding that shoppers who ate more items that scored high in the NuVal system were less likely to develop such health conditions as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    Braintree, Mass.-based NuVal is currently offered at over 525 Price Chopper, Hy-Vee and Meijer supermarkets in 18 states, and will debut at United Supermarkets in Texas this March.

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