Blog: Dean BestJust how clever is Supervalu's nutrition iQ?

Dean Best | 14 January 2009

So Supervalu has become the latest food retailer to attempt to encourage US consumers to eat more healthily.

The nationwide grocer is to launch its own nutritional labelling scheme – dubbed nutrition iQ – throughout its store network in the next few weeks.

There's an obvious business rationale for the decision. Consumers Stateside are demanding healthier options more and more.

Supervalu's move will also add fuel to the food industry's claims that it is voluntarily doing what it can to tackle one of the biggest health problems in the US – obesity.

Supervalu's scheme, alongside similar initiatives from Delhaize's Hannaford and Food Lion stores (not forgetting the imminent launch of the Smart Choices Program, which has been backed by some of the biggest food manufacturers in the US) will, the industry hopes, dissuade Congress from regulating issuing regulatory measures.

Such moves should be welcomed – and have been by various industry stakeholders.

But, there is a danger that yet another labelling scheme will just further confuse consumers already bombarded with information on how to eat healthily.

The more labelling schemes are launched, the more the argument that the US government should fund research into developing one, nationwide labelling scheme becomes more compelling.


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