February 16, 2011
Safeway urges shoppers to choose healthy foods with new program

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By Niesha Lofing

Safeway is launching a program today aimed at helping consumers make better nutrition choices while grocery shopping.

SimpleNutrition is an in-store shelf tag system that highlights 22 nutrition and ingredient benefits in products, including lifestyle benefits (organic, natural, calorie smart and gluten free). The green tags will be placed next to the pricetag and club card special tags, according to a Safeway news release.

All products in Safeway stores are screened for the program and about 15 to 20 percent of them have passed the criteria, said Kerry Neville, Safeway's consulting dietician.

Needless to say, you won't see a lot of green tags in the chip aisle (although there are a few that made the cut, Neville said).

The company is launching the program as a way to help take the frustration out of grocery shopping.

"Walking through the grocery store can feel overwhelming," she said in a phone interview. "Finding healthy choices can feel frustrating sometimes."

Safeway surveyed 1,639 moms and found that 41 percent said the biggest challenge regarding nutritional decisions is not having time to read all the nutrition labels in-store, and 19 percent said it's too time consuming to search the store for the healthiest options.

"I think of it as having your own personal nutrition coach with you in the aisles," Neville said.

The program, which also includes a website full of tips and recipes, launches today in Safeway and Vons stores nationwide.

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