If you shop at Walmart, prepare yourself for the appearance of another food label, this time a private label exclusive. Today, Walmart Stores unveiled the new “Great For You” label that will appear on Walmart brand food items that are healthier choices for consumers. The label can also be found on fresh fruits and vegetables.


I admit, when I first heard that there would be yet another “healthy” brand used to guide consumer choices, I was a bit skeptical. There are already a lot of labels out there, many of which are unregulated, and do nothing but confuse most of us. One example is the word “natural” – it may mean something different to me than it does to the company using the label.


However, Walmart items receiving a “Great For You” label actually have to meet a certain set of criteria and these criteria are publicly available on the WalmartGreatForYou.com website.


There are only two steps used to identify qualifying food products. If an item is a single ingredient food then it only needs to meet the criteria set forth in the first step. If it isn’t a single food product then it must meet the requirements of both step one and step two.


For example, a fresh strawberry would receive the label because it is a single food product that is a fruit. Strawberry yogurt, on the other hand, would have to meet the five requirements set forth in step two. Step two requirements focus on a food item’s total fat, trans fat, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar. If the strawberry yogurt met all five of these requirements, then it would also receive a “Great For You” label.


While the labeling doesn’t focus on organic ingredients or locally sourced produce I am glad to see Walmart taking this step in introducing healthier food products to its millions of customers nationwide. May this move one day be followed with a revamped program that focuses on good for you and good for the Earth products.


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