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    Safeway Launches ‘SimpleNutrition’

    The in-store shelf tag system aims to help shoppers make nutritious choices.

    Safeway Inc. has taken the wraps off its “SimpleNutrition” program, an in-store shelf tag system to help customers decide which foods and beverages have the nutritional properties they’re looking for. The green shelf tags on qualifying items can be found throughout the grocer’s stores, next to Everyday Low Prices and Club Card specials.

    Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway developed SimpleNutrition in collaboration with registered dietitians and food labeling experts as a way to introduce its shoppers to a healthier way of living. Based on health agency guidelines, the system makes it a snap to find desired items via green shelf tags that spotlight as many as two of 22 separate nutrition and ingredient benefits, including Gluten Free, Organic, Sodium Smart or Made with Whole Grains. The easily readable tags are unencumbered by complicated numbering system or confusing symbols, and SimpleNutrition products meet specific criteria, so shoppers can concentrate on the nutrition benefits they want or need most in their diets. Each product in the program must provide key beneficial nutrients.

    “Consumers are inundated with conflicting nutrition information and are often skeptical of the nutrition claims on packaging,” explained Safeway’s Barbara Walker, group VP, consumer communications and brand marketing for Safeway, which operates 1,702 stores in the United States and western Canada. “SimpleNutrition is an ‘at the shelf’ program that simplifies and personalizes the grocery shopping experience so that shoppers can feel confident about making more informed food choices. While SimpleNutrition is not a replacement for the nutrition panel found on food and beverage packages, it provides shoppers with a quick snapshot of the nutrition and ingredient benefits that best match their nutritional needs.”

    A recent national survey commissioned by the grocer of more than 1,500 mothers revealed that 36 percent are cautious about the claims made on packaging, with 41 percent saying that not having time to read all nutrition labels while shopping is a challenge they face when selecting products.

    Before they set foot in the store, Safeway customers can visit to Safeway.com/SimpleNutrition to find out more about food, nutrition and health information, as well as to get answers to common nutrition questions; tips for making healthier, affordable food choices; and recipes.

    The grocer will update qualifying items on an ongoing basis, as product nutrition and ingredient information change, and as new products roll out. Safeway also plans to expand SimpleNutrition throughout 2011 by introducing a personalized online nutrition tool to assist shoppers in finding more nutritious alternatives to the foods they now buy.

    The company’s other health-and-wellness initiatives include the launch of such private label brands as O Organics, Eating Right and 100 percent natural Open Nature products, in addition to removing added trans fats from all private label products and guaranteeing all private label milk to be free of growth hormones.

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