WASHINGTON - A year after pledging to develop a front-of-pack label that would give its customers an easier way to identify healthier food, Walmart unveiled the "Great For You" icon yesterday. 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 rigorous 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.
"Walmart moms are telling us they want to make healthier choices for their families, but need help deciphering all the claims and information already displayed on products," said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart, in a press release. "Our 'Great For You€™ icon provides customers with an easy way to quickly identify healthier food choices. As they continue to balance busy schedules and tight budgets, this simple tool encourages families to have a healthier diet."
"Today€™s announcement by Walmart is yet another step toward ensuring that our kids are given the chance to grow up healthy," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "Just over a year ago, Walmart committed to save shoppers a billion dollars in their cost of fruits and vegetables and the fact that Walmart exceeded this number is a real accomplishment and a milestone in our efforts to support families eating better. In addition, the healthy seal will be another tool for parents to identify the best products for their kids. Giving parents the information they need to make healthy choices is a key piece of solving childhood obesity."
Items with the "Great For You" icon must meet rigorous 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. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Institute of Medicine (IOM).
"Walmart€™s effort to bring healthier food to kitchen tables nationwide was inspired by our customers and informed by the latest food science and policy," said Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart. "Last year we stood with the First Lady and showed how Walmart, working with its suppliers, the public sector and non-governmental organizations, can truly make a difference in people€™s lives."