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Store News Roundup

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moon_aura.jpgMaybe it’s the aura left over from Earth Day, or perhaps just coincidence, but a few retailers this week are unveiling some interesting health/wellness and sustainability plans.

The three that are in the news are all leaders in whole health and green retailing: Hannaford (creator of the country’s first nutrition rating system, Guiding Stars), Publix (home of the GreenWise private label and store banner) and Harris Teeter (a pioneer in consumer health outreach).

At Delhaize-owned Hannaford, Scarborough, Me., nearly 300 private label products in the retailer’s own-brand portfolio have been reformulated to eliminate trans fats. The Food and Drug Administration has required all labels to include trans fat amounts since 2006, so updating the products mean “customers can save money while still making healthy choices,” Julie Greene, Hannaford's director of healthy living, told the Associated Press.

We also found an interesting pilot of some kind on YouTube, promoting what could be a new online outlet for the Guiding Stars franchise. The 5-minute Expert Chef Cooking Show includes recipes for Moroccan Pork Loin (2 stars) and Athenian Couscous Salad (1 star). The program was posted by Guidingstarstv, which already has a number of “how-to” videos posted, though they focus more on the Guiding Stars program itself.

Down South, Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, Fla., has opened a new hybrid format that combines a regular Public with a GreenWise. The 57,000-square-foot store, in Plantation, east of Ft. Lauderdale, is a logical outgrowth of the company’s take on health and wellness, and likely reflects what top brass has learned from the three stand-alone GreenWise stores currently open. We recently reported that some aspects of the three have been evolving into a conventional Publix.

Finally, at Harris Teeter, there’s a new electronics recycling program that provides extra incentives for consumers to participate (which we also recently wrote about). Working with a firm called Engaged recycling, Harris Teeter is offering customers gift cards for devices like cell phones, MP3s, game systems, digital cameras and even computer monitors. Customers can also opt to have the money donated to a local school of their choosing.

You’ll notice that all these are all regional operators. It’s yet another indication that small chains and independents are using whole health and sustainability to prevent them from being overshadowed by the Big Boys. ANd this is how they do it.

(Photo credit: Care_SMC)

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