In response to point three of Walmart’s Healthier Food Initiative and the Institute of Medicine’s Front-of-Package (FOP) Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols report released last fall, Walmart unveiled their “Great For You” icon. The label will enable consumers to easily identify and select healthy food items found amongst Great Value and Marketside brands in Walmart stores this spring.
In order to receive the “Great for You” seal of approval products must meet stringent nutrient requirements that align with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The selected items encourage consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats while limiting sodium, added sugars, trans and saturated fats. For more information on the nutrition criteria associated with the “Great For You” icon click here. In addition, to assist its consumers with menu planning and inspire culinary creativity, Walmart is developing a recipe database that showcases “Great For You” grocery items.
The Healthier Food Initiative – Walmart’s Pledge to Make Food Healthier and Healthier Food More Affordable
With the support of First Lady Michelle Obama, Walmart launched its healthier food initiative in January 2011. The plan focuses on the following five topics:
1. Reformulating thousands of everyday packaged food items by 2015 by reducing sodium 25%, added sugars by 10% and removing all industrially produced trans fats.
2. Making healthier choices more affordable.
3. Developing strong criteria for a simple front-of-package seal.
4. Providing solutions to address food deserts by building stores in underserved communities.
5. Increasing charitable support for nutrition programs that help education consumers about healthier food solutions and choices.
Institute of Medicine’s FOP Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols Report
In October 2011, the IOM released a report encouraging food manufacturers to develop a single standardized front-of-package label system that will allow consumers to easily recognize healthy food items. The committee’s proposed symbol system would encompass the following:
1. Simple- not require a nutrition background to understand or interpret its meaning
2. Interpretive- nutrition information provided as guidance rather than as specific facts
3. Ordinal- offering nutritional guidance by using a scaled or ranking system
4. Supported by communication with readily remembered names or identifiable symbols
For more information, or a copy of the full report click here.