There was an interesting article in the NYT this morning, about the Hannaford Brothers grocery store chain evaluating the food products it sells. Hannaford, with locations around New England, developed some sort of system to evaluate the health claims made on food packaging, things like “rich in anti-oxidants!,” “a good source of fiber!” or “low in fat.” These claims are already regulated by the FDA, but their standards don’t appear to be very high, judging by what some of those packaged foods get away with calling healthy…The Hannaford system now awards gold stars to products that meet their standards for the term ‘healthy,’ a process which resulted in 77% of the products carried in stores receiving no stars at all.
The goal of the program is to rate food items as “good, better, and best,” not single out some as bad. So how effective will this system be in affecting consumer purchases? What if Hannaford loses money? Will other grocery chains start implementing similar programs? It’s an interesting idea, I think.

“The Package May Say Healthy, but this Grocer Begs to Differ”

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