The Guiding Stars nutrition rating system, which helps shoppers identify healthy products at a glance, will be rolled out across Ahold USA’s store brands, including Peapod, starting this month.
Guiding Stars was initially developed at Hannaford, now a sister chain to Ahold Delhaize’s U.S. brands Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover and Giant/Martin’s. Guiding Stars is also available at Food Lion stores, at Loblaw stores in Canada and in various foodservice operations.
"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," said Lisa Coleman, lead nutritionist for Giant of Landover, Md., in a statement. “We saw this growing demand for healthier meals and we set out to make it easier to shop for nutritious ingredients and meal solutions. 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.”
Guiding Stars utilizes an algorithm to assign nutritional value ratings to foods, rating them from one to three stars in a “good, better, best” format. Those products are highlighted with shelf tags in stores.
If no Guiding Stars symbol is shown, the item is either not nutritionally recommended, is new to the program and hasn't been rated yet, is less than five calories such as water or tea, is a dietary supplement, is medical food such as baby formula, or does not have nutrition information available.
“We’re excited to provide this empowering tool to our customers because label reading can be intimidating,” said Sarah Glunz, lead nutritionist at Giant/Martin’s. “Whether you are taking the first step or are already on your wellness journey, Guiding Stars is quick and easy to understand.”