SpartanNash is helping customers of its corporate-owned supermarkets meet their dietary and lifestyle needs with a new shelf-tag program called Nutrition Pathways.
The grocery distributor said yesterday that Nutrition Pathways highlights 22 health, wellness and nutritional attributes — such as heart healthy, sustainable, nothing artificial and organic — at the shelf to make it easier for customers to identify relevant products.
So far, SpartanNash has rolled out the tags to Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market and VG’s Grocery stores. Plans call for the program to launch by March at Martin’s Super Markets, Forest Hills Foods, Family Fresh Market, Dan’s Supermarket and all other SpartanNash-owned stores. All Nutrition Pathways attributes are listed on ShopTheFastLane.com, SpartanNash’s online grocery website, which currently provides service at 70 stores in six states.
“Our customers are looking for healthier choices, but it can be time consuming to read through nutrition facts panels and ingredient lists and difficult to know exactly what fits into your diet,” Lori Raya, chief merchandising and marketing officer at SpartanNash. “With Nutrition Pathways, we’ve done all the hard work for you, so your shopping trips can be quick, convenient and, most importantly, fit within your lifestyle or wellness journey.”
SpartanNash said Nutrition Pathways icons are now displayed at the bottom of all shelf tags, with up to four key attributes per product. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company noted that its regional wellness specialists used industry standards and evidence-based nutrition guidelines to define product attributes, which are grouped in four areas: general wellness (making healthier choices), ailments (specific health conditions like diabetes or heart disease), life stage (age) and sustainability (eco-friendly and transparency on ingredients and sourcing).
Nutrition Pathways attributes include heart healthy, five or less ingredients, high fiber, whole grain, no added sugar, low sodium, good source of protein, gluten-free, nut-free, lactose-free, non-dairy, nothing artificial, vegan (plant-based), kosher, organic, non-GMO, fragrance-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic and meat-first (in pet food section).
There’s also free-from, signifying that a product doesn’t contain eight major allergens (milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy) or antibiotics, high-fructose corn syrup, hormones, partially hydrogenated oil ingredients, pesticides and nitrates. And a product bearing the sustainable icon has one of the following claims and/or certifications: B Corp, Biobased, BPA-free, carbon footprint, dolphin-safe, environmentally friendly, ethical, Fair Trade, Forest Stewardship Council, FSC, Marine Stewardship Council, Rainforest Alliance Cert, sustainable farming, sustainable fishing, Sustainable Forest Initiative, sustainable packaging, sustainable seafood or wild caught.
“What we eat is a huge contributor to many chronic diseases, and eating a healthier diet helps prevent and treat many of these conditions,” according to Barbara Karenko, DO, of Metro Health-University of Michigan Health. “Food works as preventative medicine to keep us healthy and is essential to a person’s well-being.”
SpartanNash regional wellness specialists work with community partners and health care organizations to raise awareness about programs such as Nutrition Pathways and provide resources about nutrition and optimal food choices. The wellness specialists serve company-owned stores and communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and greater Omaha, Neb. SpartanNash operates 156 supermarkets overall.