Jewel-OscoÂ® Unveils ‘nutrition iQÂ®’ Food Labeling Program to Help Shoppers Make Choices for Better Health
ITASCA, Ill., Jan. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — JEWEL-OSCO, a leading Midwest food and drug retailer, is making it easier for consumers to get a healthy start to the new year with the recent launch of “nutrition iQÃ‚®,” an exclusive in-store food labeling program designed to help customers make better-informed food choices right at the grocery store shelf.
nutrition iQ, which is now in all JEWEL-OSCO stores, uses color-coded shelf tags and signs that allow consumers to quickly identify better-for-you food options. The program comes as research shows consumers are having difficulty making sense of nutrition guidelines and are looking for an easier way to make informed food choices for better health. For example, a survey by the International Food Information Council Foundation shows almost half of Americans feel food and health information is confusing and conflicting; and while the majority of Americans have at least heard of the government’s Food Pyramid, called MyPyramid, only a little over a third have actually used in it some way, such as making its recommended changes or visiting www.mypyramid.gov.(1)
“As a dietitian, I know our customers have many questions about what foods to buy, especially given the vast number of products to choose from on the grocery store shelf,” said JEWEL-OSCO Registered Dietitian Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, LDN, CDE. “nutrition iQ will help take the guesswork out of shopping for more nutritious food choices. The color-coded tags and signs make it easy to spot the items that are better for you and the website and in-store brochure make it easy to learn more.”
How nutrition iQ works
The program, which was developed and implemented in collaboration with dietitians from Joslin Clinic, part of an academic medical center affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, features color-coded shelf tags in the grocery aisles to help shoppers identify healthy food options.
More than 2,500 items in each store have qualified for at least one of the following tags:
- Light blue for minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc
- Dark purple for vitamins A, C and K; B vitamins and folate
- Red for omega 3 fats and low saturated fat
- Pink for 100 percent juice
- Orange for excellent or good source of fiber
- Yellow for excellent or good source of protein
- Green for low or healthier level of sodium
- Purple for low in calories
- Dark orange for whole grains
Meanwhile, qualifying items in the stores’ fresh departments, which include produce, self-service meat and seafood, feature color-coded informational signs that highlight additional key health benefits of fresh department items that are part of nutrition iQ. The key health benefits that are called out include:
- Bone health
- Digestive health
- Energy and muscle
- Eye health
- Heart health
- Immune system
- Skin health
As an example, while shoppers may be aware that fresh items such as tomatoes are better-for-you foods, the nutrition iQ sign will call out the product’s specific health benefits, such as Good source Vitamin A “Promotes eye, skin and immune health” and Good source Vitamin C “Promotes skin and immune health.”
“Joslin was pleased to help JEWEL-OSCO implement the nutrition iQ program,” said Amy Campbell MS, RD, CDE, manager, clinical education programs, Joslin Clinic. “nutrition iQ used established FDA nutrient content claims as a framework to evaluate the nutritional content of products throughout the entire grocery store — regardless of manufacturer, brand or price.
Categories were evaluated to establish a standard to qualify and then each brand or product within that category was evaluated to call out to the consumer the top one or two salient nutrition benefits.”
Campbell continues, “The simplicity of nutrition iQ not only makes it easier for consumers to understand often confusing Nutrition Facts food labels, the program also enables customers to choose foods specifically for the health benefits they provide, such as bone health or digestive health.”
nutrition iQ background
JEWEL-OSCO’s parent company, SUPERVALUÃ‚®, first launched nutrition iQ at AlbertsonsÃ‚® in 2009. Since its initial debut, the in-store nutritional navigation program has also been introduced at several other SUPERVALU companies, including AcmeÃ‚®, Cub FoodsÃ‚®, Farm FreshÃ‚®, Hornbacher’sÃ‚® and ShoppersÃ‚®.
When nutrition iQ first launched, the program focused on the grocery aisles of participating stores. However, in addition to the debut of the full nutrition iQ program at JEWEL-OSCO, SUPERVALU is now also expanding nutrition iQ to the fresh departments of its ALBERTSONS stores in Southern California and Nevada. To learn more about nutrition iQ, visit www.jewelosco.com/nutritioniq.
JEWEL-OSCO, a SUPERVALU company, operates more than 180 stores in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. With a market-leading position in Chicago, JEWEL-OSCO stores offer consumers the convenience of combined grocery and pharmacy retail, in addition to services such as fuel centers at select locations. Originally established in 1899, the company and its associates remain committed to the communities they serve. For more information about JEWEL-OSCO, please visit www.jewelosco.com or www.jeweloscopharmacies.com.
(1) International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, 2010 Food & Health Survey, “Consumer Attitudes Toward Food Safety, Nutrition, & Health,” www.ific.org/research/foodandhealthsurvey.cfm