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Hannaford Looks To The Stars

Hannaford has launched an exceedingly ambitious program to rank the nutritional merit of almost the whole supermarket with a one-star, two-star or three-star system. It is a good, better, best program and, implicitly, leaves a lot of products at zero stars.

It will probably help a lot of people as it takes random information about products — this one has no trans-fat, this one has no saturated fat, this one has whole grains and this one has vitamin C — and attempts to integrate the data into valuable information about food.

It is not easy to do, and one could find issues with the Hannaford program: most particularly a decision to evaluate all products based on consumption of 100 calories. Although I understand the logic of making everything comparable, I think an argument can be made that looking at customary serving sizes might more accurately reflect the nutritional impact of consuming any product.

How do different product categories rate in the stars? Here is some info from the Hannaford Guiding Stars Frequently Asked Questions page:

Q. How many foods were evaluated?

A. More than 27,000 have been scored to date.

Q. How many products in the store have received stars?

A. Approximately 23% of the 27,000 analyzed food products have one or more stars.

Q. How many foods in each section of the store get stars?

A. The percentages of foods with stars, by store section, are as follows:

  • 94% of produce
  • 55% of cereals
  • 43% of seafood
  • 24% of meat
  • 18% of dairy
  • 12% of soups
  • 8% of deli
  • 5% of bakery

Learn more about this pioneering program right here.

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