RICHMOND, Va. — At Martin’s Food Markets here, customers now have the opportunity to use checkout lanes that feature apples, nuts, nutrition bars and baked chips instead of candy.
Each of the eight stores participating in the project offers two healthy checkout lanes, with one guaranteed to be available from open to close, according to Martin’s In-Store Nutritionist Valerie Waters.
“Almost everything we have in the aisle is single serve or has the ability to be single serve and also to be able to eat on the go,” said Waters, who noted it was important to Martin’s to make the experience like grabbing a candy bar.
Martin’s calls out the new lanes with a big overhanging sign at the register and then with smaller signs, too, said Waters.
Developed in partnership with the city of Richmond and the health and wellness nonprofit Fit4Kids, the lanes offer drinks and food with strict requirements — no more than 35% added sugar for drinks and no more than 30% fat or 10% saturated fat for food.
“We don’t even have diet soda,” Water said, because Martin’s didn’t want to encourage the consumption of artificial sweeteners.
Read more: Martin's Tests Healthy Checkout Lanes
While the new lanes’ offerings needed to both meet the nutrition guidelines and be shelf stable, Martin’s still found plenty of options, including freeze dried fruit, oranges, bananas, Pirate’s Booty and Special K Cracker Chips.
Checkout lanes have become a concern for a growing number of retailers as they’ve developed new health initiatives. Just last year Hy-Vee implemented healthy checkout lanes in many of its stores.
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