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Supervalu Inc. is offering customers afflicted with gluten sensitivity an informative diet management program throughout its nationwide family of grocery stores.
The new program will roll out in phases over the next three months. Supervalu’s family of stores will provide signage and special merchandising sets in select stores to help make it easier for customers to find gluten-free products.
Customers can also visit the customer service department to pick up an in-store shopping guide and get their gluten-related questions answered. More extensive gluten-free shopping lists as well as recipes and snack and meal solutions will be available on the stores’ websites.
“As a whole, the U.S. population is seeing an uptick in gluten intolerance, and there are many more people who have it but don't know it,” said Anthony Provenzano, Supervalu pharmacy director of clinical programs. “This program is designed to help people manage a gluten-free diet and hopefully encourage others to seek advice from a health care professional about a possible sensitivity to gluten.”
According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, 3 million Americans currently suffer from the inherited celiac disease, and 97 percent go undiagnosed or are initially given an incorrect diagnosis. A 100 percent gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment. The foundation says about 500,000 celiac diagnoses are expected to occur over the next five years.
“Our gluten-free program is one of a number of programs we've implemented to promote healthy lifestyles for the benefit of the 22 million customers nationwide we serve each week,” Provenzano said. “This program, along with our nutrition iQ program, which features easy-to-see, color-coded shelf tags to help consumers quickly identify healthier food choices, will help to provide our gluten-free customers the shopping ease and convenience they deserve.”
Minneapolis-based Supervalu operates 4,270 stores under several banners including Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s/Star Market and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.