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Cub Foods(R) Makes Smart Eating Easy and Colorful
Cub Foods Helps Customers Identify Better-for-You Foods While They Shop With New "nutrition iQ(R)" In-Store Nutrition Program
MINNEAPOLIS, Jul 14, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Cub Foods(R) today announced the launch of "nutrition iQ(R)," a unique nutrition information program designed to help consumers make better-informed, better-for-you food choices right at the grocery store shelf. nutrition iQ was developed in collaboration with Joslin Clinic, part of an academic medical center affiliated with Boston's Harvard Medical School. The nutrition iQ program is available in the 73 Cub Foods stores located in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.

The nutrition iQ program comes as research shows that consumers are having difficulty making sense of nutrition guidelines and are looking for an easier way to make informed food choices for better health. For example, approximately three in five consumers think diet and nutrition are very important, yet more than half say they need practical tips to help them eat right and 41 percent don't know or understand nutrition guidelines, according to the American Dietetic Association.1

The nutrition iQ program uses easy-to-see, color-coded shelf tags - hung just below an item's price tag - to help consumers quickly identify healthier food choices for themselves and their families.

"Cub Foods is committed to helping its customers lead healthy lifestyles. With more than 60,000 items on our grocery store shelves, it can take considerable time to read and compare nutrition labels. The nutrition iQ program provides a convenient way for consumers to evaluate food choices on the spot as they shop," said Chuck Lynch, senior vice president of operations, Cub Foods.

"Poor food choices contribute to many health problems, including obesity and heart disease," said Nora Saul, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., nutrition services manager, Joslin Clinic. "We're pleased to have been able to contribute our nutritional expertise to a program that offers people a way to make healthy eating choices."

Cub Foods is the second of SUPERVALU's nationwide family of grocery stores to receive the nutrition iQ program, which initially launched in January 2009 at the company's Albertsons banner. Preliminary data from Albertsons suggest that the program has helped steer consumers to purchase better-for-you foods. SUPERVALU will roll out the program to its other stores, including Acme(R) in Philadelphia, bigg's(R) in Cincinnati, Farm Fresh(R) in Virginia, Hornbacher's(R) in Fargo, Jewel-Osco(R) in Chicago, Shaw's/Star Market(TM) in New England, Shop 'n Save(R) in St. Louis and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy(R) in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, this year.

How nutrition iQ works

The nutrition iQ program uses established U.S. Food and Drug Administration Nutrient Content Claims as a framework for evaluating foods throughout the store regardless of manufacturer, brand or price. Under the nutrition iQ program, products are initially screened against a set of qualifying criteria to ensure that the items are, at a base level, better for you. Foods such as cookies, soft drinks, candy, shortening, oils and syrup were excluded from the program because they did not meet the threshold criteria.

Products meeting the threshold criteria are then evaluated further to determine the top one or two nutritional benefits or attributes of each product, which are then called out for consumers on color-coded nutrition iQ shelf tags.

The program covers 11 nutrient claims in seven categories with shelf tags color-coded as follows:

  • excellent or good source of fiber are denoted by orange tags
  • excellent or good source of calcium by blue tags
  • excellent or good source of protein by yellow tags
  • low or healthier level of sodium by dark green tags
  • low calorie by a purple tag
  • low saturated fat by a red tag
  • whole grain by a dark orange tag

The tags are located on the store shelf below the product's price, unit price and bar code. These at-a-glance cues help point consumers toward healthy food options, and supplement more detailed information found on the "Nutrition Facts" portion of food labels, should consumers wish to compare products further.

The nutrition iQ program will roll out in two phases, with the first phase focusing on items found in the center-store grocery, frozen and dairy areas where research shows that people have the most frustrations and encounter the most questions regarding food labeling. Approximately 2,400 products have qualified for tags as part of the first phase. Products in the bakery, deli, meat, produce and seafood categories will be evaluated and tagged as part of phase two.

"As a dietitian, I've learned that healthy eating isn't easy, especially given the vast number of products to choose from on the grocery store shelf," said SUPERVALU dietitian Heidi Diller, R.D. "nutrition iQ will promote overall health by taking the guesswork out of shopping for more nutritious food choices. It's like having your own personal dietitian in the store with you."

According to Lynch, the nutrition iQ program will be of particular interest to grocery shoppers in this market, based on Minnesota's reputation as one of the healthiest states in the nation. "Local residents pride themselves on being fit, making good food choices and leading healthier lifestyles. The nutrition iQ program is part of our commitment to be a conduit of information for shoppers and make it easy for them to lead the healthy lifestyles they enjoy."

To learn more about nutrition iQ, go to www.cub.com.

About Cub Foods

Cub Foods provides consumers with the freshest produce, widest selection and greatest value available today. In addition to innovative natural, ethnic and certified organic food sections, Cub stores offer shoppers added conveniences, such as in-store pharmacy and banking. Cub Foods was established in 1968 as one of the nation's first discount grocery stores. The organization was purchased in 1980 by SUPERVALU and currently operates 73 stores located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. For more information about Cub Foods, visit www.cub.com.

About SUPERVALU

SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the U.S. grocery channel with estimated annual sales of $43 billion. SUPERVALU holds leading market share positions across the United States with its approximately 2,500 retail grocery locations, including nearly 900 in-store pharmacies. Through SUPERVALU's nationwide supply chain network, the company provides distribution and related logistics support services to more than 2,500 independent grocery retailers across the country. SUPERVALU has approximately 180,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU, visit www.supervalu.com.

Sources

1 American Dietetic Association's public opinion survey "Nutrition and You: Trends 2008," Oct. 26, 2008, www.eatright.org/trends2008

SOURCE: SUPERVALU INC.

SUPERVALU INC.
Haley Meyer, 952-828-4786
haley.meyer@supervalu.com
Lee Ann Jorgenson, 651-779-2132
leeann.m.jorgenson@supervalu.com