In a few months some of the Walmart store-brand foods will have an unfamiliar icon on them.
Walmart this week unveiled its green and white “Great For You” icon, which will be printed on the products that have reduced sodium, sugar and trans fat levels.
The icon is part of the company’s healthy food initiative, which it promises to reformulate thousands of foods to reduce sugar, sodium and trans fat levels, make the healthier food choices more affordable, build new stores in so-called food deserts, and increase its donations to food banks.
The icon, seen in the picture above, will begin appearing this spring on Walmart Great Value and Marketside items, and on fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables, according to a news release from the company.
“Our ‘Great For You’ icon provides customers with an easy way to quickly identify healthier food choices,” Andrea Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart, said in the news release. “As they continue to balance busy schedules and tight budgets, this simple tool encourages families to have a healthier diet.”
Walmart turned to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Institute of Medicine to create nutritional guidelines for the reformulated food products.
According to this New York Times story, Walmart has said it will also allow other brands to use the “Great For You” icon at no cost, so long as the products meet Walmart’s nutritional guidelines.
Other stores have adopted similar techniques to identify the nutritional value of food. This story, written by my colleague Sarah Bruyn Jones last year, is about a system called NuVal, which assigns a score to each product’s nutritional value. The score is displayed on the shelf next to the price. Grocery store Food City adopted the system, and Kroger was testing it as of last June.
Do labels such as these help you shop?