Supervalu implementing a 'Kids Club Card' program as part of U.S. grocery chain's anti-childhood obesity efforts; children can present the card for a free apple or banana each time they visit the store
October 25, 2011
– SUPERVALU® INC. (NYSE: SVU) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Save-A-Lot® Food Stores, reiterated its commitment to helping eliminate food deserts nationally, including in Chicago, at an event today with First Lady Michelle Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. SUPERVALU also announced today that it will open a new Save-A-Lot store in the Lawndale neighborhood by the end of November, bringing the total number of Save-A-Lot stores in the Chicagoland area to 14, and outlined a number of initiatives underway at its network of stores to help address childhood obesity.
In July as part of an agreement with the Partnership for a Healthier America, SUPERVALU announced plans to open 250 new Save-A-Lot stores in areas across the United States where there is limited or no access to affordable, healthy, fresh foods. Since its July announcement, SUPERVALU has opened 14 new Save-A-Lot stores in food deserts throughout the country. The company, through its Save-A-Lot stores, has long been committed to serving neighborhoods in need of access to fresh, affordable foods. Based on U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, Save-A-Lot currently operates more than 400 of its nearly 1,300 stores in areas that otherwise would be recognized as being in or near a food desert.
Nationally, the USDA reports that more than 23 million people, including 6 million children, don’t have access to affordable, fresh food options. Research by Chicago-based Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group suggests that there are more than 375,000 people, including more than 100,000 children alone, living in food deserts in Chicago. The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity has identified eliminating food deserts as a key objective in helping achieve its goal of curbing childhood obesity within a generation.
“SUPERVALU and its network of stores, including our Save-A-Lot subsidiary, are committed to bringing healthy, affordable food offerings to customers here in Chicago and throughout the United States,” said Craig Herkert, SUPERVALU chief executive officer and president. “We appreciate the tremendous leadership shown by First Lady Michelle Obama and Mayor Emanuel to address this important issue.
“In addition to food access and affordability, we are taking steps to help consumers make the best food choices possible for themselves and their families,” Herkert said. “According to research, nearly 80 percent of customers say they need help and advice around planning, shopping, cooking and preparing food. As a leading grocery retailer, we’re ideally positioned to help them by providing the programs, resources and tools they need to achieve a healthy diet.”
Eat Well Initiatives
SUPERVALU through its network of stores, which include Save-A-Lot and Jewel-Osco® in Chicago, as well as Acme®, Albertsons®, Cub Foods®, Farm Fresh®, Hornbacher’s®, Shaw’s/Star Market™, Shop ‘n Save®, and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy® in other markets across the country, is undertaking a number of initiatives to make it easier for its customers to eat well, including:
In Chicago, Save-A-Lot food stores is supporting the Centers for New Horizons’ Healthy Horizons Program, which aims to help youth and their families in the Bronzeville community eat healthy and incorporate daily exercise. The program teaches children in grades 3-6 how to prepare healthy snacks and meals, as well as grow their own fresh vegetables through the Centers for New Horizons’ community garden; provides nutritional information to parents; and features a Healthy Food Swap program at Ida B. Wells Preparatory Academy. Through this food swap program, students are encouraged to bring in unhealthy snacks and “swap” them for healthier food options from Save-A-Lot.
Save-A-Lot also is working with the University of Chicago on their seven-year research project, “Improving Diabetes Care and Outcomes on the South Side of Chicago.” The project is designed to increase awareness of healthy eating and healthy lifestyles, and provide education about the impact of diet on the prevention and management of chronic diseases to residents in communities on the South Side of Chicago. Save-A-Lot serves as an extension of the nutrition learning process. Each month, University of Chicago nutritionists bring patients to Save-A-Lot stores to teach them to read labels, select produce and make smart food choices. Save-A-Lot provides gift cards to patients after each tour.
At SUPERVALU’s Jewel-Osco banner in Chicago, the company recently reduced its prices on produce, in part to encourage shoppers to incorporate more fresh food into their meals. The company also trained employees to educate shoppers on how to choose produce. This “Fresh Produce, Fresh Prices” initiative is rolling out to SUPERVALU’s other traditional grocery stores during the next several months.
SUPERVALU’s traditional grocery stores, including Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Acme, Cub Foods and Shaw’s, also are implementing a new “Kids Club Card” program. Children are given a free apple or banana when they present their Kids Club cards on each visit to the store. The Kids Club card is available for free at participating banners to children accompanied by a parent or guardian.
New Save-A-Lot in Chicago
The new Save-A-Lot store in Chicago located at 3939 W. Ogden Ave. is scheduled to open before Thanksgiving. The store is part of Save-A-Lot’s planned expansion in Chicago that included the opening of five new Save-A-Lot stores on the South Side last March. The new store will be the 14th Save-A-Lot in the city of Chicago.
Save-A-Lot stores, which typically range from 15,000 to 18,000 square feet in size, offer customers savings of up to 40 percent off traditional grocery retail prices while delivering a full range of healthy fresh products, including a fully assorted produce section, high-quality meat department and fresh dairy. Save-A-Lot stores achieve significant savings by providing a limited but pantry-filling selection of everyday grocery items primarily under its own private brand labels while maintaining a smaller, more affordable store footprint and overhead.
In addition to the 14 Save-A-Lot stores, SUPERVALU operates 33 Jewel-Osco stores in the City of Chicago. Through its Jewel-Osco and Save-A-Lot stores, the company serves more than 125,000 customers daily and employs more than 6,000 people in Chicago combined.
About SUPERVALU INC.
SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the U.S. grocery channel with annual sales of approximately $37 billion. SUPERVALU serves customers across the United States through a network of approximately 4,300 stores composed of 1,106 traditional retail stores, including 800 in-store pharmacies; 1,294 hard-discount stores, of which 915 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s traditional food distribution business. SUPERVALU has approximately 135,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU, visit www.supervalu.com.