Homeland Stores Announces Partnership with Guiding Stars to Launch In-Store Nutrition Guidance Program

Nutrition Guidance Program Helps Busy Shoppers to Easily Identify More Nutritious Foods

With rising obesity rates and many consumers reaching for easier-to-understand nutrition information, one Oklahoma grocery chain is looking to make a healthy change. According to The CalorieLab United States of Obesity Fattest States Ranking 2010, Oklahoma ranks in the top ten fattest states with 67 percent of Oklahomans considered obese or overweight by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards in 2009. To help encourage healthier choices, Homeland Stores is announcing a partnership with Guiding Stars to launch their good-better-best nutrition guidance program in their stores. With this system, customers in all 73 stores will be able to more easily choose healthy foods.

With Guiding Stars, each item throughout the grocery store receives a zero-to-three star rating according to its nutritional value, offering busy shoppers a simple, at-a-glance tool that helps them quickly identify foods that offer the most nutrition for the calories. Guiding Stars will be displayed prominently throughout Homeland, Country Mart, and United Supermarkets from shelf-tags, to signage and brochures, to help make nutritious shopping even easier.

“The health of our customers is a primary concern to us,” said Darryl Fitzgerald, President and CEO of Homeland Stores. “We all need to find ways to eat healthier. A good start is by making more informed decisions and the Guiding Stars system gives our customers basic nutritional information at the point of purchase.”

Guiding Stars uses a proprietary algorithm based on scientific evidence, and the most current guidelines and recommendations of leading national and international health organizations, such as the FDA and USDA. The system credits all edible foods based on the presence of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and whole grains, and deducts for the presence of trans fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and added sodium. Food items are then awarded zero, one, two or three stars – one star indicates good nutritional value; two stars, better nutritional value; and three stars, the best nutritional value.

“There is a lot of nutrition information available for consumers and it can be difficult to decipher food labels to identify the healthiest choices,” said John Eldredge, director of brand and business development at Guiding Stars Licensing Company. “Guiding Stars takes the guesswork out of choosing nutritious foods. With Guiding Stars, our intention is not to tell consumers what to buy, but to help them make healthier choices for themselves and their family.”

About Homeland Stores

HAC, Inc., operates 72 stores in Oklahoma, and one in Haysville, KS, under the banners of Homeland, Country Mart, and United Supermarkets. Their corporate headquarters is located in Oklahoma City, and they employ over 4,000 associates. The company is the second largest grocery retailer in the state of Oklahoma, and the largest traditional grocery store format operator in the state. Additional information can be found at www.homelandstores.com.

About Guiding Stars Licensing Co.

Since 2006, Guiding Stars has been leading the way in helping consumers make nutritious food choices. The Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program is 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 including Food Lion, Hannaford, Bloom and Sweetbay. Guiding Stars has also expanded into public schools and colleges, and appears on the Shopper mobile iPhone application.