Ahold Sees Consumer Interest in ‘Healthy Ideas’ Labels

Anecdotal feedback from shoppers indicates that Stop & Shop’s Healthy Ideas shelf-edge nutrition program is having the most influence on purchases in the juice, cereal and soup categories, Andrea Astrachan, consumer advisor for the chain, told SN in an interview at SN’s offices yesterday.

NEW YORK — Anecdotal feedback from shoppers indicates that Stop & Shop’s Healthy Ideas shelf-edge nutrition program is having the most influence on purchases in the juice, cereal and soup categories, Andrea Astrachan, consumer advisor for the chain, told SN in an interview at SN’s offices here yesterday.

“The system is also opening consumers’ eyes to different forms of foods that are healthy, like canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables,” she said.

The program was launched in January identifying 3,000 items that meet strict criteria for nutritional value at Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop and its sister chain, Giant of Landover, Md. It has since been expanded to include about 5,000 items.

Many of the company’s Nature’s Promise private-label items qualify for the labeling — which appears on the packaging for those items in addition to the shelf tags — and the company is seeking to reformulate more Nature’s Promise items to fit the criteria. Suppliers also have been asking the company how they can be flagged with the labeling, Astrachan said.

The program differs somewhat from other shelf-labeling systems like Hannaford Bros.’ Guiding Stars in that it does not include gradations — products either qualify for Healthy Ideas or they do not. Astrachan said a more formal measurement of the impact of the new labeling on sales and basket sizes is under way.

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