Loblaw’s Expansion Adds Nearly 200 New Stores, Making At-a-Glace Food Rating System the Most Widely Adopted Program to Help Shoppers Make Healthier Choices
Portland, Maine (October 30, 2014)—Guiding Stars, the leading independent nutrition guidance program, today announced it is now the most widely implemented program of its kind in North America, helping consumers in 2,100 grocery stores and supermarkets in the U.S. and 10 Canadian provinces and two territories to make more nutritious choices when shopping for themselves and their families.
With the recent addition of 199 new Loblaw banner stores across Canada, the at-a-glance food rating system is now in place at 565 Canadian stores coast-to-coast and more than 1,500 U.S. stores, helping shoppers cut through the clutter of nutrient claims, ingredients lists and the Nutrition Facts label to quickly see which foods offer a more nutritious option.
The growth in the Guiding Stars program comes as new data points to an ever-increasing obesity rate among Americans and Canadians. According to the State of Obesity, a project of the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the latest numbers show that 1 in 5 Americans is now obese with obesity rates in 20 U.S. states topping 30 percent. Meanwhile, obesity rates in Canada have tripled in less than 30 years, according to a study by Memorial University in St. John’s, published by CBC News.
Recently published independent data has shown that widespread implementation of the Guiding Stars Program could have a significant impact on reducing consumption of added sugars, calories and sodium, while increasing consumption of more nutritious foods, such as those made with whole grains.
“We’ve seen a very positive response to the Guiding Stars program from our customers,” said Melanie Byland, registered dietitian and senior manager, Dietitian Program, Loblaw Companies Limited. “Its easy-to-use system provides a visual and practical tool to help families make nutritious choices, and we’re very pleased to offer this program to support our customers on their journey towards a healthier lifestyle.”
Several previously published reports in Food Policy and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have confirmed the Guiding Stars rating system aids in decision-making for consumers who don’t read or have a hard time understanding government-mandated Nutrition Facts labels. Adding the colorful star rating system to shelf tags and other in-store displays makes it easier for shoppers to quickly determine which foods offer a good nutritional value.
“It’s been our privilege to work with Loblaw in making the Guiding Stars program available to millions of Canadian shoppers, and we applaud their corporate responsibility in looking after the health and wellness of their customers,” said Jim McBride, Director of Operations with Guiding Stars Licensing Company. “We look forward to partnering on other initiatives to make continued progress in battling the health and obesity crisis in Canada.”
For more information about the Guiding Stars program, visit www.guidingstars.com.
About Guiding Stars
Since 2006, the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program has helped millions of consumers make more nutritious food choices. Based on its U.S. and Canadian patented nutrition rating algorithm, the program provides a simple, easy-to-understand tool for making good nutrition choices and is designed to make a positive and lasting impact on public health. Guiding Stars is currently in more than 1,500 supermarkets in the U.S., including Hannaford, Food Lion, Homeland, Marsh Supermarkets, B&R and Price Chopper (Kansas City). In Canada, Guiding Stars is offered exclusively through Loblaw Companies Limited, and is currently in more than 560 stores from British Columbia to Newfoundland through Loblaws and its affiliated banner stores Atlantic Superstore®, Dominion®, Fortinos®, ProvigoMC, ProvigoMC Le Marche, Real Canadian Superstore®, Save Easy®, Valu-mart®, Your Independent Grocer® and Zehrs®. Guiding Stars can also be found in public school, college and hospital dining facilities and is accessible through the Shopper mobile app for iOS devices. Guiding Stars is also the official nutrition rating engine for “ServeItUp!,” the healthy eating program offered by Premera Blue Cross. For more information, visit www.guidingstars.com.
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