A year after pledging to develop a front-of-pack label that would give its customers an easier way to identify healthier food, Walmart has unveiled the “Great For You” icon. The icon, part of the company’s healthier food initiative, is an effort to implement a transparent, summary icon for its private label brand products backed by nutrition criteria. “Great For You” will initially appear on select Walmart Great Value and Marketside items, as well as on fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables at Walmart U.S. stores nationwide this spring. By extending “Great For You” to fruits and vegetables and nutritious food options, the company will make it easier for its customers to build healthier diets.
Items with the “Great For You” icon must meet nutrition criteria informed by the latest nutrition science and authoritative guidance from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), and Institute of Medicine (IOM). Developed in consultation with food and nutrition experts from the public and private sectors as well as leading health organizations, the “Great For You” nutrition criteria are available to the public at www.walmartgreatforyou.com. The icon will also be made available to national brand products that qualify and can be complementary to other nutrition labeling systems being used by the food industry.
The science-based criteria use a two-step process: Step one focuses on encouraging people to eat more fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, and lean meats. Examples of these items include brown rice, 1% milk, raw almonds, and 93% lean ground beef. Step two limits the amount of total, trans, and saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars that can be found in items such as sweetened oatmeal, granola bars, flavored yogurt, and frozen meals.