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    Three Chains to Bow Topco’s ONQI Food Scoring System Under New Name

    Three major U.S. grocery chains, as yet unnamed, are gearing up for the launch the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System – heretofore known as the Overall Nutritional Quality Index, or ONQI -- in their stores in September, said the system’s co-originator Topco Associates, LLC.

    Three major U.S. grocery chains, as yet unnamed, are gearing up for the launch the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System – heretofore known as the Overall Nutritional Quality Index, or ONQI -- in their stores in September, said the system’s co-originator Topco Associates, LLC.

    The first-wave debut of the newly named on-shelf consumer education program will be the precursor to a coast-to-coast presence by this time next year, Topco told Progressive Grocer.
     
    NuVal, LLC, the independent company formed to bring the system to market, is a joint venture of Topco and Yale-affiliated Griffin Hospital, home of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. Developed over a two-year period by a panel of 12 medical and nutrition experts from leading North American universities and health organizations, it uses a proprietary algorithmic formula to score the nutritional value of foods on a scale of one to 100, weighing some 30 different nutrient factors; the higher the score, the higher the nutrition value.

     “Consumers want clear information about the nutritional value of the foods they eat, and NuVal scores are going to give it to them,” said NuVal president Nancy McDermott. “We’ve got the scientific foundation, the logistical ability and the retail partners needed to bring this important education to consumers coast to coast.”

    The first regional grocery chains to use the NuVal system will be publicly identified in September, said McDermott, noting that the newly-formed company is focused on reaching all U.S. markets and scoring all 40,000 of the products available in the average grocery store by September 2009. McDermott said the grocery industry at large is leading a “nutrition revolution,” helping people make smarter food choices in their everyday lives.

    NuVal’s double-hexagon emblem, bearing the score of each individual product, will appear on shelf tags next to the price. Retailers will use banners, shelf-talkers, brochures, associate training and other forms of in-store communication to tell the NuVal story.

    NuVal a joint venture formed in 2008 by Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin Hospital of Derby, Conn., a non-profit community hospital and home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. Based in Braintree, Mass., NuVal licenses its proprietary food scoring system, which is based on ONQI science (Overall Nutrition Quality Index) to food retailers across the country, and works to expand the breadth of food scores across multiple food and beverage categories.

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