Nutrition has a lot of moving parts, especially when it comes to supermarket retailing. Some shoppers are simply looking for the most healthful product, or one that passes the “Better for You” test. Yet others are dealing with a medical or dietary issue that requires them to seek out specific ingredients to either consume more of, or avoid.
This evolution of the grocery shopper means that education efforts need to stay updated. The science is improving, opinions are changing and that makes the need for consistent, reliable information all the more important.
The nutrition rating system known as NuVal is hoping to meet that need by expanding beyond its 1-100 scoring range to include product qualities. The program is designed to complement and enhance the scores by pointing out attributes like low-sodium, high-fiber and organic.
One of the key differences between the NuVal program and perhaps some others is that NuVal uses the same logarithm it uses to evaluate nutritional value to filter out low-nutrition products.
“As with our NuVal scores, the new systems are based on our comprehensive nutritional database, an exhaustive and up-to-date list of more than 100,000 foods that grows each week and comes with our commitment to maintain and grow that data base,” says Mike Nugent, NuVal’s general manager, in a statement.
In other words, just because it’s high in fiber doesn’t mean it’s also low in added sugars, fat or sodium.
NuVal is currently used by hundreds of stores and more than a dozen chains around the country, including Meijer, Big Y, Hy-Vee and Raley’s. Anything NuVal and other programs like Guiding Stars can do to streamline implementation of at-self nutrition advice is a benefit to consumer and retailer alike.