Guiding Stars are a success at IDEXX

From IDEXXpress Online

Since implementing the Guiding Stars nutritional program this April, many IDEXXers have become better equipped to make healthy food choices at our cafeterias. Through the Guiding Stars program, foods are rated based on their nutritional quality in terms of vitamin, mineral, dietary fiber and whole grain content. The product data that is used to determine these ratings is obtained from product packaging information or the USDA National Nutrient Database and are applied to a strict patented algorithm. Those items that score above a 0 rating are given one, two or three stars, and represent having good, better, or best nutritional value, respectively.

IDEXX is already realizing the benefits of having adopted this approach. “I have seen a big change in the choices that people make,” said Charlene Pardue, Food Service Specialist at the Maine Cafe. “People are more aware of the foods that they are selecting, and the response has been very positive. They like this program very much.” Charlene said that she has also noticed an increase in the amount of oatmeal, fresh fruit and healthier beverages that are purchased. In fact, we have seen an immediate change in milk sales here at IDEXX. Although the location of milk did not change, sales of skim milk have increased by nearly 15%, while 1% milk sales have increased by nearly 36%.

According to Nancy Libby, Food Service Specialist at the Bistro, many IDEXXers made healthy decisions prior to implementing the Guiding Stars program, but nutritional visibility has made a difference. “People here are very health conscious,” she said. “We have people who come in that are definitely supporters of the Guiding Stars. Being able to see the stars has helped to increase awareness.” Douglas Moore, Data Analyst, agreed: “I like the Guiding Stars. I think that they’re helpful, and it’s a good idea to eat as nutritiously as you can.”