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Review: Simple Nutrition

Posted Mar 14 2011 12:00am

Are you a Safeway shopper? Have you seen labels as these ones recently?

I’ve been contacted by Safeway to review Simple Nutrition labels. They sent me gift cards to shop there. I found that labels are only put for certain items. Each label names only few benefits of the product. Although it is not so useful for me because I think I know a little more about nutrition than median shopper. I think it could be helpful for people who wants to start eating healthy and make right choices when doing groceries.

What is SimpleNutrition?

SimpleNutrition is a proprietary in-store shelf tag system, designed to help customers find better nutrition choices among foods and beverages most important to them and their families. Green shelf tags are located throughout the store next to Safeway’s Everyday Low Prices and Club Card specials. Safeway shoppers can also visit for nutrition and health information, as well as answers to common nutrition questions, tips for making healthier and affordable food choices and great-tasting recipes.

What are the benefits of SimpleNutrition for customers?

The SimpleNutrition program helps to solve a problem that customers have told us they have – that they want to live a healthier lifestyle and eat better, but they aren’t sure how to achieve these goals.  SimpleNutrition is designed to help customers and their families eat healthier, yet still affordably, by making it easier for them to find nutritionally better choices in the store.

How does SimpleNutrition work?

SimpleNutrition is an ‘at the shelf’ program that simplifies and personalizes the grocery shopping experience so that shoppers can feel confident about making more informed food choices.  Green shelf tags on qualifying items throughout the store call out a product’s nutrition benefits – there are 22 different nutrition and ingredient benefits highlighted. Shoppers will see that the tags are simple to read without a complicated numbering system or confusing symbols.

What are the 22 nutritional benefits highlighted in SimpleNutrition?

The 22 benefits included in the program encompass two groups of messages:  those that meet lifestyle or dietary needs, and those that meet specific nutrition or ingredient criteria:

  • 4 benefit messages for lifestyle/dietary needs: Gluten Free, Organic, Natural, and also Calorie Smart
  • 18 benefits with specific nutrition criteria: Made with Whole Grains, Good Source of Fiber, Fat Free, Sodium Smart, Low Saturated Fat, Low Fat, Sugar Free,  Good Source of Calcium, Good Source of Vitamin A, Good Source of Vitamin C, Good Source of Iron, 0g Trans Fat, 100% Juice, Low Cholesterol, Good Source of Antioxidants, Good Source of Potassium, Good Source of Folate, Lean Protein

How does Safeway determine which products qualify as SimpleNutrition items?

All items, including both national brands and Safeway store brands, are screened against health agency guidelines. Generally, to qualify for a SimpleNutrition nutrient benefit tag, products must first pass the SimpleNutrition criteria restricting fat, sodium, sugars, saturated fat and cholesterol content. The product must also provide at least 10% of the Daily Value for key beneficial nutrients in the diet.  These criteria were chosen to limit the levels of nutrients which may negatively impact health, and to ensure the presence of beneficial ingredients that support a healthier lifestyle. Qualifying items receive a shelf tag highlighting up to two key nutrient or ingredient messages.

Other items carry a message of Gluten Free, Organic, Natural, or Calorie Smart because they meet a specific lifestyle or dietary need.

Why should Safeway shoppers use SimpleNutrition?

Finding nutritious options in-store is important to consumers as they become increasingly aware of how food choices can be linked to their health. SimpleNutrition can save time, money and frustration for Safeway shoppers by making it easier for them to find choices that are nutritionally right for them.

Are products tagged SimpleNutrition more expensive?

No, in fact, SimpleNutrition can help shoppers save money. Products with the green SimpleNutrition shelf tag are found in most categories throughout the store and are on the shelf next to our Everyday Low Prices and Club Card specials, so finding nutritious and budget-friendly items is easier than ever. They will also find money-saving tips featured on our website at , and products that qualify for a SimpleNutrition tag are highlighted in our weekly sales advertisements.

Why do qualifying products display only one or two key benefit messages?

Limiting benefits up to two on each tag makes it easier and quicker for customers to shop for products that meet the SimpleNutrition criteria. Through research, we learned that including too many nutrient or ingredient benefits on a tag can make them difficult to read and overwhelming to consumers.

Although a product may have more than one or two key nutrients or ingredient benefits, the green SimpleNutrition tag displays the benefits that are most relevant for that particular product. For example, hot and cold cereals are important sources of whole grains and fiber, so many cereals receive both tags. Products may also receive a lifestyle or dietary benefit message such as Organic or Gluten Free along with a nutrient benefit message, such as Low Fat. In some cases, products may only qualify for one benefit message.

Is SimpleNutrition meant to replace reading the Nutrition Fact panel?

No. SimpleNutrition complements the Nutrition Facts panel found on food and beverage packages; it is not a replacement. The green SimpleNutrition tags on the shelf provide shoppers with a quick snapshot of the nutrition and ingredient benefits that best match their nutritional needs. For complete nutrition information about a food, we recommend reading the Nutrition Facts panel.

Where can I learn more specifics about the criteria used to develop SimpleNutrition shelf tags?

Visit our website to learn more about the detailed criteria behind SimpleNutrition, and about the definitions behind the key nutrient or ingredient benefits displayed on green SimpleNutrition shelf tags.

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