Supermarket shopper expectations are higher than ever. We expect to be able to buy almost any food, anywhere, at any time. And at a low price. In order to retain customers and avoid losing them to aggressive competitors, grocers aim to stock a consistent assortment of fresh foods regardless of season or location. Because most produce is now available year-round, we can lose touch with the seasonality of foods. Let’s discuss some benefits of shopping seasonally and nutritious ways to do this at our local supermarket
I’ve led my fair share of healthy shopping tours. While walking through the aisles of the supermarket, I explain the Guiding Stars program and how it helps shoppers identify more nutritious choices. One of my favorite things to point out is that you can find the best nutritional value in fresh, canned, and frozen produce. I select an obviously nutritious product like fresh green beans then show canned and frozen versions in the store that also earn our best score: 3 Guiding Stars. If a tour group is focused on eating better on a budget, I’ll note the varying unit prices among the three forms. Through this exercise, I discuss some key factors to consider when deciding between fresh, canned and frozen vegetables. I also want to share those here, in our latest edition of Surprising Stars.
If you have ever looked at the dairy case in the supermarket, you know that there are a lot of options for yogurt. If you were to shop one of our client’s stores you might be surprised by the lack of Guiding Stars-earning yogurts. This is not to say that their assortment is less nutritious than their competitors, but rather that the sweeteners added to yogurt have a negative effect on nutrient density. In fact, just 20% of yogurts earn Guiding Stars due in large part to added sugars.
Choose 70% dark chocolate or higher to get the most flavanols. I will caution that chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa solids are more bitter and less sweet. You can add sweetness to your snack or treat with natural sugars from fresh or dried fruit. Add nuts to your chocolate and fruit for a satisfying crunch and a source of healthy fat and protein.
In this new blog series that we are calling “Surprising Stars,” we will address categories of foods where consumers find a different number of Guiding Stars earning options than they might expect. For our first topic, we are tackling the bread aisle.
It’s January, which means it is New Year’s resolution season. You probably have heard coworkers, friends, and family talk about which foods they are cutting out of their diet in order to get back on track after the holiday season. I want to give a gentle nudge during this time of increased attention on what and how we choose to eat: let’s try to focus on eating more nutritious foods rather than trying to stop eating foods or entire good groups altogether, like grains. It may sound better to phrase a goal as trying to eat more of something rather than eat less, but I promise it’s not just semantics. Smaller, incremental change is more feasible and supports long-term success.
At Guiding Stars, we have empowered people to make more nutritious choices since 2006. From our beginning, we held the belief that small shifts in food choices can make a big difference. This month, we’re launching a new Nutritious Nudges blog series to demonstrate why small, positive changes are worth making.
With just a few weeks left in the year, it’s time to reminisce and reflect upon 2019. The Guiding Stars program has been bustling with activity this year. To keep you informed, we’ve compiled a few key updates and some of our favorite pieces of content here. Thank you for your continued interest and engagement in Guiding Stars.