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Michigan-based Spartan Stores said yesterday that it has launched a new program called The Nutrition Guide through its West Michigan banners, D&W Fresh Markets and Family Fare Supermarkets. More than 16,000 products will be clearly identified with a color-coded labeling system, indicating:

• Low fat (orange label)
• Low sodium (tan)
• High fiber (teal blue)
• Gluten free (green)
• Sugar free (purple)
• Low calorie (yellow)

Products that are low in fat, low in sodium, and high in fiber also will be identified with a heart label indicating they are “heart friendly.”

Spartan says that the guide could soon be expanded to more Spartan stores, including Felpausch, Glen's Market and VG's Food.

The Kalamazoo Gazette notes that the new program competes with the NuVal system that was adopted by Meijer earlier this year.
KC's View:
On the one hand, it can be argued that competing nutritional labeling systems simply create more confusion for consumers. But on the other, it can be argued that the systems clearly delineate the chains that have them and give them differential advantages.

To be honest, I can make both arguments.