MONTREAL — Metro Inc. here said a new healthy eating program would be launched at its Metro and Metro Plus stores in Quebec and Ontario Thursday.

Known as “À votre santé avec Metro” (“To your health with Metro”) the program will seek to simplify product selection for customers who want to eat healthier in part by identifying “good choices” and “great choices” among foods in various departments. The initiative enables customers to identify nutritionist-recommended products by a smile on the price tags.

Metro said the smile tags would launch in breakfast, dairy, beverage and frozen product groups this week, representing 35 categories and more than 5,000 evaluated products. In the spring of 2014, the program will be expanded to products in every grocery aisle.


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“With this type of global approach, we assist consumers who want to make healthier food choices, along with enlightening them as they deal with the mass of information being offered with respect to healthy eating. In short, we want to simplify their life and improve their purchase experience” Marc Giroux, vice president, chief marketing and communications officer of Metro, said in a statement. “That way, they will now be able to identify the good and the great product choices with one quick look for each category. We will also use our new digital ecosystem to highlight the good and the great choices for the planning of purchases.”

Read more: Metro Revamps Mobile/Web 'Ecosystem'

The approach of selecting “good choices” and “great choices” is different from any other currently being used in Canada because it rests on thorough nutritional criteria that are specific to each product category, Metro said. This specificity by category is important because each food product has its own benefits.

“In setting selection criteria, we considered the amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals; of fats, trans fats and sodium; as well as the presence of hydrogenated oil, artificial trans fats, shortening and sugar substitutes,” explained Linda Montpetit, Metro nutritionist and member of its advisory committee. “Along with the nutritional value analysis, we have also reviewed the list of ingredients chosen. As a result, just because a certain bread has a high fiber content does not mean that it will be a great choice; its main ingredient must be a whole wheat flour, therefore less refined.”

Details of the criteria are available on Metro’s website.

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