MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – In an effort to promote their healthier food products and fight childhood obesity, Walmart is about to make it easy for shoppers to know what to buy.
The retail giant plans to add a new green icon that reads “Great for You” to packaging of some of its house-brand foods.
“To more and more of our customers, living better means the ability to walk into our stores and find affordable food that will help their families live healthier lives. No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford,” said Walmart President and CEO Bill Simon in a statement.
Walmart’s new seal, which echoes the name of one of its key house brands, Great Value, won’t impart any actual nutritional information when it starts appearing this spring. But the company says the seal will be affixed to in-house products with lower levels of fat, sugar and artificial additives.
The seal also will appear on signs near bins of fruits and vegetables and on some of Walmart’s in-house products under the Marketside brand. The company said 20 to 25 percent of its Great Value-brand foods meet the criteria for the new seal, though it didn’t say how many products will carry it.
Foods that have too many artificial additives, or too much fat, don’t make the cut, Wal-Mart said.
Walmart officials said they consulted with the FDA as it developed the “Great For You” seal and would comply with whatever standards the agency eventually sets.
Food makers and sellers have come under scrutiny in the past for adding nutritional seals to the fronts of packages. The Food and Drug Administration said in 2009 that some companies used them misleadingly.
The FDA is developing standards for what health claims can be made on food packages, but Walmart said its customers want the information now.
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