With more than 220 stores in the Midwest states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, Missouri, and Nebraska, Hy-Vee offers a unique shopping and online experience to their clientele. Though I am yet to shop in a Hy-Vee, I can learn a lot from their website which is heavily focused on health and nutrition education.
When you log-on to www.hy-vee.com you’ll see their slogan, “Making lives easier, healthier, happier”. With an entire web section devoted to health, Hy-Vee offers some great information to their online audience. Of highest value, obviously, is section devoted to dietitians. Here, by typing in your location, you can find your nearest Hy-Vee Dietitian. The RD’s offer free “personal shopping assistance” aiding customers in purchasing nutritious foods, as well as assistance with meal prep ideas and recipes. What a great service to offer!
The dietitians also post free online recipes, budget-friendly meal ideas, weekly suggested menus, and send free email newsletters including nutrition tips, recipes, and more. The recipe database The HealthNotes tab provides information on food selection and preparation, such as how to buy and prepare meats and poultry.
Most impressively, Hi-Vee has opted to lead the way in implementing a system entitled “NuVal”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2qRFmMGNpo. Created by nutrition and medical professionals, the “NuVal” system (short for “Nutritional Value”) assigns a number, 1 to 100, assessing the nutritional value of a particular food item. The higher the number, the more nutritious the food. It’s that simple. These “NuVal” numbers are displayed next to food items as to allow customers a much easier comparison of nutrition among similar food products. Food labels may be a thing of the past for the health-conscious. Should you buy this wheat bread, or that wheat bread? That cut of beef, or this cut of beef? This is valuable consumer information as consumers repeatedly report cost and confusing food labels as the top two barriers to healthy eating!
What I do hope to see in this NuVal system is the “reward” of higher numbers to more
on the website includes hundreds of free, nutritious recipes. You can even search by category: course (i.e. appetizers), therapeutic diet appropriate (i.e. low-sodium), main ingredient, theme (i.e. kid-friendly), seasonal, and ethnic (i.e. Asian). Bookmark that one, people!wholesome foods. Many times the foods lowest in calories are foods with little to no nutritional value as they are loaded with preservatives more than food product. Time will tell!
NuVal is also available in select Price Chopper and Meijer store locations in the US. NuVal is expected to show up in super markets near you during 2009 and 2010. Stay tuned!