This blog has reported on how custom labels can have an affect on consumers and their purchasing decisions. Such an example comes from a study done at the Massachusetts General Hospital's cafeteria, where researchers put a stop-light labeling system on food, with green labels being the healthiest options and red being the least healthy. This was implemented in a major British grocer and will soon make its way into the United States, according to the Food Navigator.
At the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Philadelphia, Jess Kolko, the healthy eating registered dietitian and culinary educator at Whole Foods, spoke on how the major retailer of organic foods plans on creating a stoplight-like labeling system for its products that informs consumers on what options are the healthiest and which are not.
According to Whole Foods' labeling system, green products cannot have any added sugar, salt, oil or animal products. Yellow products can have some added sugars and sodium with a "minimal amount" of animal products and orange products are allowed to have a little more of those ingredients than the yellow stickers.
There is no red sticker, according to the source. If the product doesn't meet the retailer's standards it will not get a sticker.
"If every category hits the top tier [green] except it has a sodium level that fits in the bottom category [orange] it will be placed in the bottom category," Kolko told the audience at the convention. "All products will be reviewed for labeling and we will only label the healthiest foods. We will be bringing education to the stores as well when the program pilots so we can clarify this message."
As this tactic for informing consumers begins to become more integrated in grocery stores in the United States and internationally, it may benefit smaller retailers to invest in a Primera LX900 color label printer to begin this implementation. By doing so, grocers will be able to give their consumers a clear picture of what their healthiest options are.