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Raley’s Tackles Added Sugar in Cereal Aisle

Retailer moves products with 25% or more of total calories coming from added sugar to bottom shelf
Photograph courtesy of Raley's

As part of its ongoing effort to inspire healthy purchase decisions, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores has revamped its cereal aisle to promote items with less added sugar through shelf tags and a new product placement layout.

Located on the bottom shelf, marked with blue shelf tags, are now cereals with 25% or more of the total calories coming from added sugar based on a one-cup serving, while items with less added sugar, marked with gold tags, are awarded with prime, upper-shelf real estate.

“We know that the changes in Raley’s stores can positively influence our customers’ choices,” Keith Knopf, Raley’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Our team has thoughtfully developed a system to evaluate added sugar in cold cereals. We believe between education and product placement, we can help more customers identify and avoid added sugar.”

To reduce customer confusion and promote transparency, West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley’s partnered with Label Insight to develop a sugar filter equation to determine its new shelf placement. While the measurements used to relay an item’s nutritional facts vary by cereal company, Raley’s used a standardized one-cup serving size to consider a product’s total calories and total added sugars, thus identifying which cereals are “higher in added sugar” and labeled with blue shelf tags and which are “lower in added sugar” and labeled with gold shelf tags.

The retailer announced the changes to its cereal aisle in the third episode of its new YouTube series, “Minute With Mike Teel,” in which Raley’s owner Mike Teel called out companies for adding sugar to their products and using misleading labeling.

“The group that consumes the most cereal is our children, and they are the ones who are at greatest risk for obesity and diabetes,” Teel said in the episode. “We also recognize that it’s very confusing when you are reading the labels. For example, you can take one product and find out that the sugar content is measured against one cup of cereal …while others are measuring the sugar with a quarter-cup.”

Tackling added sugar in the food industry has been the focus of Raley’s YouTube series, which launched in October. With 22% of household restricting sugar intake and 52% actively avoiding artificial sweeteners, according to Nielsen, Raley’s said it is using in-store signage and video education to increase shopper awareness around added sugar in foods.

Earlier this year, Raley’s eliminated conventional candy from its check-out stands and reduced overall sugar offerings by 25%. The retailer said it is analyzing calories coming from added sugar in all processed foods, and has plans to expand its initiative to additional categories.

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