Supervalu's nutritional labels fail to call out unhealthy food and will not help combat obesity, as they are overshadowed by manufacturers' marketing campaigns, says the Center for Science in the Public Interest

Allison Oesterle

Allison Oesterle

Dec 14, 2011 – Industry Intelligence

LOS ANGELES , December 13, 2011 () – According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Supervalu Inc.’s nutritional labels, which mark foods that are particularly healthy and do not mark foods that are unhealthy, are being overshadowed by manufacturers’ marketing campaigns, Bloomberg reported on Dec. 13.

Michael Jacobson, an executive director at the enter for Science in the Public Interest, said that the Supervalu’s nutritional labels will not help combat the obesity epidemic and that, by deliberately not marking unhealthy foods, Supervalu may be setting the program up for failure.

Supervalu’s nutritional label system, Nutrition iQ, involves 18 colored labels that identify foods with certain health benefits in addition to being low in sodium, saturated fat and sugar. The system was rolled in 2009 after a 13-month testing period.

Julie Dexter Berg, Supervalu’s chief marketing officer, said that the nutritional labels denote particularly healthy food because Supervalu does not want to tell its customers what they can and cannot eat.

Craig Herkert, CEO of Supervalu, said that the Nutrition iQ program is affecting customers’ purchasing habits.

According to a 2011 study by the Food Marketing Institute, less than one-third of consumers believe that they have a complete understanding of retailers’ nutritional labeling systems.

The study also revealed only 7% supermarket customers with information concerning the health of foods use it on every buying expedition.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on December 13, 2011.

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