“When it comes to food, our customers want a variety of choices, but they also want help identifying healthier options. Customers asked us to make healthier food choices easy while keeping prices low,” said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of grocery for Walmart. “The nutritionists we engaged told us to make the criteria tough and significant. We feel confident the ‘Great For You’ icon balances those objectives, and will become an important tool Walmart shoppers can use to fill their pantries with healthier food at prices our customers can afford.”
The criteria have undergone an extensive evaluation process using thousands of grocery items to help ensure that only nutritious items in each grocery category receive the “Great For You” icon. One evaluation compared Walmart’s criteria with what people in America commonly consume using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of more than 4,000 food items.
The development of the “Great For You” icon is part of an initiative Walmart launched in 2011 to make food healthier and healthier food more affordable. The initiative includes reformulating packaged food to reduce sodium and added sugars and eliminate industrially produced fats by 2015; making healthier food more affordable by providing savings on produce and reducing the price premium on better-for-you food items; developing solutions for food deserts; and increasing charitable support for nutrition education programs.
“At a time when obesity rates are the highest ever for Americans, especially Hispanics, Walmart’s new ‘Great For You’ symbol will help make eating healthy the easier choice,” said Janet Murguía, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza. “In order to successfully help Latino children and families eat healthier, we hope other food companies will follow in Walmart’s footsteps and commit to increasing access to healthier food at a lower cost.”