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New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that the Guiding Stars nutrition labeling system “had a positive influence on food purchasing decisions after the implementation of the zero-to-three star rating system and that these changes continue to be significant in achieving healthier food choices in the supermarket.”

Guiding Stars, which was created by Delhaize-owned Hannaford Bros., uses a proprietary algorithm to evaluate every product in the store and then assign one, two or three starts to products qualifying as nutritionally good, better and best.

 According to the announcement, “the study authors utilized purchasing data from 2006 to 2008 obtained from Hannaford Supermarkets, which have 168 stores located in northern New England and New York.  They examined the data before Guiding Stars was introduced and one and two years after it was implemented.   In order to understand the program’s impact on specific grocery categories, ready-to-eat cereal was examined as a case study.  Study findings revealed that the purchasing of star-rated cereals significantly increased at one-year and continued to increase in year-two.  “Although we did not measure individual diet, the purchasing of low-sugar, high-fiber cereals increased greatly after program implementation. This finding is of particular importance to our understanding the potential impact of such programs on consumer diet,” Sutherland said.
KC's View:
It always is heartening when customers actually do what you want them to do ... in this case, actually buying healthier products when they are clearly pointed out to them.

Go figure.