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Giant Food rolls out Guiding Stars labeling program Wikimedia Commons/Illegitimate_Barrister

Giant Food rolls out Guiding Stars labeling program

Star-based system rates products by nutritional value

Sharpening its focus on customer wellness, Giant Food of Landover, Md., has introduced Guiding Stars, described as a first-of-its-kind nutrition navigation program.

The Ahold Delhaize USA chain said Tuesday that Guiding Stars — available at all 166 Giant Food stores in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia — brings a star ranking system designating "good," "better" and "best" choices to tens of thousands of consumable items.

The rating system works as follows: one star indicates that a product has “good” nutritional value, two stars signifies “better” nutritional value and three stars means “the best” nutritional value.

If no Guiding Stars symbol is shown, the item is not nutritionally recommended, not rated yet because it’s new to the program, contains fewer than five calories (such as water or tea), is a dietary supplement or medical food (such as baby formula) or has no nutritional information available.

Giant said the program is in line with national policies, including Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. The retailer noted that Guiding Stars takes the guesswork out of nutrition by decoding labels into one clear rating with symbols visible at a glance.

"We know that more and more of our customers are prioritizing nutrition and, in fact, our research tells us that over half of Americans cook at home because the meals are healthier. We saw this growing demand for healthier meals and we set out to make it easier to shop for nutritious ingredients and meal solutions," said Lisa Coleman, lead nutritionist for Giant of Landover. “Customers can find the products they're looking for faster and feel confident that they're selecting the foods that are best for their families."

Besides simplifying nutrition information for customers, Guiding Stars — also featured on tens of thousands of items via the online ordering and delivery service — helps speed up grocery shopping, Coleman added. "Label reading can be intimidating and time consuming,” she said. “We're thrilled to be giving this empowering tool to our customers to easily identify the products they want."

Last year, Giant launched HowGood, a rating system that identifies products based on factors ranging from ingredient sourcing to labor practices.

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