- SpartanNash has introduced a new labeling system called Nutrition Pathways, according to a company press release. The new system, available both online and in stores, will highlight 22 nutrition and lifestyle attributes including sustainable, heart healthy, organic, "nothing artificial" and others to help shoppers make healthy choices.
- To start, banners Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market and VG’s grocery stores will feature shelf tags with up to four Nutrition Pathways attributes on display. Other banners including Martin’s Super Markets and Family Fresh Market will launch the labeling system by March.
- SpartanNash will also include Nutrition Pathways labeling on its e-commerce website shopthefastlane.com, which is available at 70 stores in six states. All possible attributes will be listed for products online, and customers can filter products based on lifestyle and nutritional values.
SpartanNash’s move to implement the system both online and in-stores will be important to shoppers who want to take advantage of multiple shopping options. The online component of Nutrition Pathways is even more advanced than the in-store labels as it allows the grocer to tag a product with all possible attributes.
Other grocers that have announced nutrition-based labeling systems, like Raley’s, have also taken an omnichannel approach. Giant, on the other hand, focused on in-store labels only for its "PA Preferred" local labeling system last summer.
SpartanNash said its labeling system is supposed to speed up customers’ efforts to find healthy options and take the work out of reading nutrition labels. But with 22 attributes based on industry standards and evidence-based nutrition guidelines, there is still some work on the customer’s part to sift through the information and labeling.
Still, the system is color-coded and easy to decipher or filter quickly so customers can identify what they need — spanning everything from kosher and vegan to hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Nutrition Pathways also includes labels for non-GMO, nut-free, high fiber and good-source-of-protein products, among others.
The initiative meets the increasing demand of shoppers who are following specialty diets or avoidance of certain foods, the company said. SpartanNash offers several other efforts to address shopper health, including reduced-cost prescriptions, regional wellness specialists serving stores and increased organic offerings.
There isn’t a lot of evidence to support whether or not nutrition labels support healthier choices online or in-store, but a 2018 study published in the scientific journal Appetite found a significant association between labeling and purchasing of healthy products, suggesting nutrition labels can lead to healthier food purchases.