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All 25 Giant Eagle supermarket locations in Central Ohio now display enhanced price tag signage featuring two key components to help customers shop for their families, the nutritional value scores – provided by NuVal – and color-coded nutritional attributes based on Food & Drug Administration guidelines denoting benefits such as “Heart Healthy” and “Whole Grain.”
Giant Eagle is the first Central Ohio retailer to display both the NuVal scores and the additional dietary and nutritional information on the same on-shelf price tag.
“As a company, Giant Eagle has maintained a commitment to the health and wellness of our team members and customers and after extensive review, we feel that this combination of information will be a tremendous benefit to our shoppers,” said Brett Merrell, Giant Eagle senior VP of health and wellness. “This new system provides a nutritional roadmap for customers to guide them as they look to make the best choices for their families.”
The NuVal System, developed by an independent team of medical and nutrition experts, scientifically evaluates up to 50 nutritional values (both positive and negative) in thousands of consumable products in the supermarket and distills them down to a number between 1 and 100. In this system, the higher the score, the better the nutrition.
While NuVal scores provide a quick reference for locating the most nutritious items on Giant Eagle shelves, it doesn’t highlight specifically what makes a particular item healthy or appropriate for specific lifestyle concerns.
Developed in accordance with FDA dietary guidelines, the color-coded nutritional attributes spell out both the nutritional benefit of a specific item as well as any reasons a particular item might be a fit for a lifestyle or dietary choice such as gluten-free or organic.
“Shoppers are becoming savvier and many know exactly what they need from their dietary choices,” Merrell said. “Whether a consumer is looking for something with whole grains or an item with low sodium, these color-coded signs will be significant aids in making informed decisions.”
Thousands of foods in Giant Eagle supermarkets will display the new price tags featuring the NuVal score inside a double “honeycomb” symbol in the upper right-hand corner and the actual nutritional benefits of the item at the bottom of the tag. Some items may not meet nutritional thresholds for a color-coded benefit tag, but they will have a NuVal score. Other items may not have a NuVal score, but will have the color-coded benefit tag.
“The combination of these two systems helps to simplify the sometimes difficult process of identifying the best nutritional choices for our families,” said Caroline Whitby, Giant Eagle corporate dietitian and manager of dietitian initiatives. “The way to think of it is NuVal is the ‘what’ to choose, the color blocks are the ‘why’ to choose and the in-store dietitians are there to help you decide how to choose based on your health goals.”
Giant Eagle currently offers registered dietitians in ten stores in Central Ohio and they will be conducting classes and store tours at each location – free of charge – October through December.
“With the support of our in-store dietitians and other resources, we believe that this new system can play a major role in improving how our customers shop our stores, and what they feed their families,” Merrell said. “With increased awareness of their food choices, Giant Eagle customers are better equipped to compare items within categories, and ‘trade up’ for specific attributes and dietary needs.”
For more information, visit www.gianteagle.com/nutrition.
Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle Inc. operates 170 corporate and 58 independently owned and operated supermarkets in addition to 165 fuel and convenience stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland.