Hannaford and the Guiding Stars

There's an article in the Periscope section of the November 12 Newsweek that interested me. The topic is the Guiding Stars program that is being rolled out at Hannaford Brothers, a 161 store supermarket chain in New England.

Using experts from institutions like Harvard and Tufts, Hannaford devised a system of stars to designate the nutritional value of all the foods in their stores. Most food has no stars--which is a serious indictment of our food system!--but the better stuff is rated one (good), two (better) or three star (best).

For the most part I'm quite willing to wallow in bad food, like the 72% of items that receive no stars in the Hannaford system, but it's nice to know that should I want to eat healthier there's a system being worked on to make the decision easier. Hannaford is owned by the Delhaize Group which is a Belgium based international food retailer. This system of rating food value by stars is being implemented by other chains in the Delhaize Group--next year it's being rolled out in the Food Lion chain which has 1,300 stores--and is starting to be copied by competitors. Soon it'll be everywhere.

According to the Newsweek article, over the past year since the system was rolled out, sales of higher rated items have steadily climbed whereas lower rated items have fallen. Despite my preference for nasty junk food, I really like this system and applaud the Hannaford chain for developing it.

Comments

Bernie said…
The Australian Govt. are using a similar syatem here, sort of, which I think is a good thing...

It makes picking out 'tasty junk food' all the more easier!!

Here from Michele's this morning...
SassyAssy said…
I can't imagine I will see too many 3 star items in your kitchen.
utenzi said…
Au contraire, lovely Sassy. I have lots and lots of 3 star items. I just don't use them. I have a well stocked kitchen but happen to mostly eat nasty junk food. Go figure.
Deana said…
Sometimes I make my choice between several similiar items by the heart healthy sticker. And it gets so tiresome reading every label. I really like this stars idea. And it will be easy for kids to see they are making healthy choices too.
SassyAssy said…
My dear Utenzi, you have been tagged--see my blog for details por favor!

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