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    Tops Adopts NuVal

    The company joins many other grocers now offering the nutritional guidance system.

    Tops Markets LLC has launched the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System in all 134 of its stores. Based on their nutritional content, the system assigns foods scores ranging from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating greater nutritional value. These scores appear on shelves and signs throughout stores, enabling customers to compare the nutritional profiles of various foods.

    “Tops is committed to providing access to resources in order to help consumer make informed nutritional choices when shopping for themselves and their families,” noted Frank Curci, president and CEO of Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops. “We’re always looking for ways to help our customers navigate through the wide variety of products we offer.”

    A joint venture formed in 2008 by Skokie, Ill.-based Topco Associates LLC, and Griffin Hospital in New Haven, Conn., NuVal is currently in use at more than 1,000 supermarkets in 23 states. Participating retailers include King Kullen, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Brookshire Grocery Co., Big Y, Skogen’s Festival Foods, Coborn’s, Food City, Mariano’s Fresh Market, and United Supermarkets, with more grocery chains slated to roll out the system in 2011. Additionally, the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) has officially endorsed the system, as have other prestigious medical, scientific and educational institutions.

    “The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System turns a lot of nutrition details into a single number,” explains Dr. David L. Katz, chief science officer for NuVal and one of its principal developers. “It is a ‘GPS’ for nutrition, leading effortlessly to more nutritious foods on the supermarket shelf. With this easy-to-use, objective, scientifically robust system, a shopper and family can improve their diet and health one well-informed choice at a time.”

    The system’s trademark blue hexagons will appear on the shelf tags of more than 18,000 food products throughout Tops stores. NuVal scores are available for a wide variety of categories, among them meat; seafood; poultry; salty snacks; milk; yogurt; fresh, frozen and canned vegetables; cereal; bread; cookies; soft drinks; and crackers. The system provides nutritional guidance to consumers with no influence from food manufacturers, according to NuVal’s developers.

    “By offering their customers the tools to make educated choices right at the stores’ shelves, Tops is helping members of our community as they begin to incorporate good nutrition into their lives,” remarked Dr. Leonard Epstein, PhD, a member of the NuVal scientific advisory board and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Social and Preventive Medicine Department of Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which is located in Tops’ home market. “Small, incremental changes shoppers make as they ‘trade up’ within a certain category, whether it’s in the snack, cereal or produce departments, have the potential to make significant nutritional differences.”

    Tops’ 134 full-service supermarkets comprise 129 company-owned and five franchise locations upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania, and it employs more than 14,000 associates.

    For more information about NuVal, contact [email protected] or 781-228-5800.

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