Guiding Stars Coming to Homeland Stores

Nutrition navigation system Guiding Stars has teamed with Homeland Stores Inc. to launch the program in late September at all 73 of the grocer’s stores, which are located in Oklahoma and Kansas and operate under the Homeland, Country Mart and United Supermarkets banners.

According to John Eldredge, director of brand and business development at Scarborough, Maine-based Guiding Stars Licensing Co., the system will “make it even easier for [Homeland Stores’] customers to identify healthy food choices. Homeland Stores focuses on providing their customers with resources that make healthy living easier than ever, and Guiding Stars is a proven tool for helping their shoppers eat healthier foods.”

“The health of our customers is a primary concern to us,” added Darryl Fitzgerald, president and CEO of Oklahoma City-based Homeland Stores, which employs over 4,000 employees and is the second-largest grocery operator in Oklahoma. “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 grounded in evidence-based science and the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations of national and international health organizations, including the FDA and USDA. The system credits all edible foods based on the presence of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and whole grains, and debits for the presence of trans fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and added sodium. Foods receive zero, one, two or three stars, with one star indicating good nutritional value; two stars, better nutritional value; and three stars, the best nutritional value.

First implemented at Hannaford Supermarkets in September 2006, Guiding Stars is now on shelf tags and signage in sister chains Food Lion, Bloom and Sweetbay Supermarket, and has also recently launched in several public schools in Maine, as well as Bates College, University of New Hampshire, University of North Dakota and Sebasticook Valley Hospital. The program will also soon debut at Parsippany, N.J.-based Kings Super Market in mid-October.

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