Wal-Mart Plans Simple Label To ID Healthy Foods - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wal-Mart Plans Simple Label To ID Healthy Foods

MSNBC.COM - Wal-Mart is unveiling a simple icon that it says will help consumers make a snap decision about whether a food is healthy, without delving into the nitty-gritty of the nutrition label.

The move by the nation's biggest retailer to label some food products as "Great For You," being unveiled Tuesday, could be a significant development in the fight against obesity because of the company's enormous influence in the marketplace, over both consumers and food vendors eager to sell into the Wal-Mart supply chain.

There have been fumbles in the past. In 2009, major food makers backed off a plan to label foods as "smart choices" after the Food and Drug Administration, which has been working on a standard system for such logos, noted that many competing nutrition symbols could be confusing. At the time, some food makers were criticized for trying to market items such as mayonnaise and sugary cereals as "smart choices."

The FDA has not finished its standards, but Wal-Mart is moving ahead to slap a green jumping-jack-shaped icon onto certain in-house Great Value and Marketside products as well as on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Wal-Mart will provide detailed criteria for the "Great For You" label on its website but is trying to give an easy visual cue to busy shoppers roaming the grocery aisles in its thousands of stores.

"If you're walking down the aisles you'll basically be able to see the better choices," said Leslie Dach, the company's executive vice president for corporate affairs, in a news briefing. click here to read more