Shoppers at Apple Markets in St. Joseph, Mo., now have a faster, easier way to make healthier food choices when shopping for their family.
Apple Markets is the first Midwestern grocery retailer to launch the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program at all three St. Joseph locations, providing an at-a-glance nutritional rating system to help customers quickly and easily identify products that offer a better nutritional value.
Designed to complement the existing Nutrition Facts panel on each product, Guiding Stars eliminates the need to spend extra time reading package labels. Instead, shoppers can glance at the Guiding Stars labels to find more nutritious food choices for themselves and their family.
The Guiding Stars system rates each edible item in the store, including fresh produce, meat, seafood, packaged foods, prepared deli items and dairy products, using a patented algorithm grounded in the most current dietary guidelines and recommendations of leading national regulatory and health organizations.
Each food is then assigned a rating, which is clearly marked with a shelf tag, label or other signage that indicates its nutritional value. The more nutritional value a food has, the more Guiding Stars it receives on a scale of zero to three. One Guiding Star indicates good nutritional value; two Guiding Stars, better nutritional value; three Guiding Stars, the best nutritional value. A product with no visible star means that, although the product has been rated, it did not meet the nutrition criteria to merit a Guiding Star.
Despite efforts by the federal government and food packagers to label foods for their nutritional content, evidence suggests consumers are still confused about how to make the best choices. In a recent survey, nearly 68 percent of shoppers said they don’t read the Nutrition Facts panel because it’s too confusing, takes too much time, lacks valuable information or overwhelms them with detail they don’t care about. Nearly 65 percent admitted they need help beyond the Nutrition Facts panel to identify healthier foods.
“As a community partner, we feel it’s our responsibility to encourage a healthy lifestyle for our customers and provide them with the most enjoyable shopping experience possible,” said Adam Rini, sales manager for Apple Market Group. “We are very pleased to offer this innovative program that makes it easier for shoppers to eat healthier, live better and save time.”
Guiding Stars is currently found in more than 1,700 supermarkets including Hannaford, Food Lion, Sweetbay, Homeland, Kings Super Market and Marsh Supermarkets. Guiding Stars has also expanded into public schools, colleges and hospitals and appears on the Shopper mobile iPhone application.