News and Media
For Immediate Release
January 8, 2009
Stop & Shop
Stop & Shop Supermarket Unveils "Healthy Ideas"
New On-Shelf Symbol Simplifies Search for Healthy Foods
(QUINCY, MASS.) January 8, 2009 - Consumers looking to keep their New Year's resolution to eat healthier in 2009 need look no further than their local Stop & Shop Supermarket. The supermarket today announced the launch of Healthy Ideas, a new [on-shelf] symbol to help customers easily identify foods that are healthy.
The Healthy Ideas symbol, which can be found on-shelves in 377 Stop & Shop stores, identifies foods based on the USDA/FDA's definition of "healthy," the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPyramid.gov.
"People are concerned about their health more than ever," said Carolyn O'Neil, M.S., R.D., author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!, who is partnering with Stop & Shop to educate customers about Healthy Ideas. "Healthy Ideas is more than a symbol; it's a lifestyle choice that allows customers to easily identify foods that are truly healthy for their family every time they shop. By helping customers simply select foods that are healthy, Stop & Shop can position itself to be a much needed resource in a marketplace cluttered with information about healthy eating."
According to a recent study, 80 percent of customers are more concerned about health, nutrition and fitness than they were a year ago (CBI Research), and many customers are looking to their local supermarkets to advise them about their food choices. A 2006 survey conducted by the Food Marketing Institute and Prevention magazine reported that 73 percent of shoppers expressed interest in receiving nutrition guidance from their supermarket through "signs indicating healthy food choices."
Stop & Shop has placed the Healthy Ideas symbol on more than 3,000 items and shelf tags throughout its stores. The new symbol identifies foods that have less fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It also ensures that foods bearing the Healthy Ideas symbol are a good source of at least one nutrient (protein, fiber, vitamins A or C, or the minerals calcium or iron). The Healthy Ideas symbol will also appear on qualifying store brand products.
"As a working mom with two young boys, I don't always have time to inspect every nutrition label I put in my grocery cart," said Andrea Astrachan, consumer advisor at Stop & Shop. "Like many of our shoppers, I'm concerned about providing my family with nutritious, affordable meals, so now I only have to look for one symbol to be able to make healthier choices through the aisles."
The power of Healthy Ideas lies in the strength of its criteria which was developed by a team of registered dietitians and reviewed by an advisory panel of physicians and nutrition experts, including Dr. George Blackburn, associate director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School.
"Our goal is to make shoppers' lives easier, so they don't feel overwhelmed by all of their options. Instead of standing in the aisles comparing every label, they can let us do the work for them," Astrachan concluded.
Healthy Ideas criteria are based on the federal definition of a "healthy" food, which must:
- Be limited in total fat
- Be limited in saturated fat
- Be limited in cholesterol
- Be limited in sodium
- Contain at least 10 percent of the Daily Value for one or more of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein or fiber
Additionally, since the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting trans fat and sugar consumption, Healthy Ideas includes additional criteria for artificial trans fat and sugar, taking into account the inclusion of natural sugars in the appropriate food categories.
The introduction of the Healthy Ideas symbol is one of many recent changes at Stop & Shop, which includes a fresh new look, introduction of new in-store features, such as the ORDER IT! deli kiosks, the SCAN IT! hand-held scanners and parent-friendly checkout lanes. To learn more visit www.stopandshop.com.
About Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, based in Quincy, Massachusetts, employs more than 59,000 associates and operates stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey.