May 4, 2009 - Braintree, MA – NuVal’s campaign to help people eat better through a revolutionary,
scientifically-based food scoring system continues its momentum this week as the system launched in all
stores in the Midwest-based Meijer retail chain. The NuVal TM Nutritional Scoring System is now available
in more than 500 supermarkets in 18 states across the U.S., with more scheduled for 2009.
NuVal’s scoring system gives all food a Score from 1 to 100; the higher the score, the higher the
nutrition. All NuVal scores are provided on the shelf, making it easy for consumers to compare the
overall nutrition of the foods they buy at a glance.
“Less than a year after we started offering our scoring system, we can be found in supermarkets from
Massachusetts to Missouri,” said NuVal President Nancy McDermott. “The response from both retailers
and consumers tells us that this is an idea whose time has come.”
The inventor of the “one-stop” shopping concept, Meijer operates 185 supercenters in Michigan, Illinois,
Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Consumers visiting their local Meijer will see thousands of items with the trademark NuVal blue
hexagon, which contains the NuVal score. Scored categories include salty snacks, milk, yogurt,
vegetables (fresh, frozen and canned), cereal, bread, cookies, and crackers, among others. Ultimately,
NuVal will guide U.S. consumers in every single food purchase in the supermarket.
“NuVal is changing the way consumers think about food,” McDermott said. “Consumers are realizing
that deciphering food labels and following ‘healthy’ trends haven’t helped—obesity and heart disease in
America are at all-time highs. Never has the need been stronger for what NuVal provides: reliable,
independent, easy-to-use information on the foods they buy and consume.”
Using the NuVal system, consumers will:
• Easily discover the more nutritious products in a store. Consumers wanting to know what
cereals (or crackers or cookies) have more nutrition only need to take a look at the NuVal scores
and choose the higher number.
• Be able to “act like an expert,” using the knowledge and research of more than a dozen of the
country’s best nutrition experts, who spent two years creating the ONQI (Overall Nutritional
Quality Index), the scientific engine used to determine NuVal scores.
• Get more nutrition for their budget, as they can now compare items side-to-side and determine
which product offers the better value, not just in price, but in nutrition as well. For instance,
consumers may find that some varieties of frozen or canned vegetables score the same as fresh
produce on the NuVal scale.
• Be able to better compare name brand to store brand products. In many instances, consumers
will learn that a store’s private label item is just as nutritious as the more expensive national
• Receive reliable, robust nutrition information, as all NuVal scores are determined from the data
on a product’s nutrition and ingredient labels.
Adopting the NuVal system is the latest innovation from the 75-year-old retailer, who has revolutionized
retailing in the Midwest by introducing “supercenters” that sell both groceries and general merchandise
under one roof and redefined convenience by being one of the first retailers to offer stores that are
open around the clock. Meijer joins Price Chopper and Hy-Vee, two other grocers who launched NuVal
earlier this year.
NuVal Scores can be found on the shelf tags at all 185 Meijer stores, with more grocery chains to come
in 2009. Visitors to the NuVal website (www.nuval.com) can find sample scores in a variety of categories
such as cereal, cookies and crackers, seafood, fruits and vegetables, and pasta.
Nancy McDermott said that many scores will reinforce consumers’ common knowledge, such as fresh
food ranking higher than processed food, and fruits and vegetables receiving the highest scores.
However, she pointed out that consumers will soon see NuVal Scores as an invaluable shopping aid.
“We’re bringing information to consumers that they have been demanding for years,” she said. “By
using the NuVal system, you’re being guided by the best experts in nutrition.”
More About the NuVal System
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is powered by the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI™), a
patent-pending algorithm for measuring the nutritional quality of foods and beverages. Developed by an
independent team of top nutrition and public health experts, the NuVal System scores foods and
beverages based on more than 30 different nutrients and nutrition factors – everything from fiber and
vitamins to fat and sodium.
“For decades, we’ve been conditioned to purchase foods based on only one or two factors, such as
calories, fat, or carbs, without looking at the nutritional quality of the foods as a whole,” said Dr. David L.
Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Connecticut and one of the creators of
the NuVal system. “With NuVal, all nutrients—those with generally positive and negative effects on
health—are factored into our scores, so you can identify, at a glance, the items with higher overall
NuVal Scores can be found in participating grocery stores, where they are posted on shelf tags next to
the product price and on in-store signage. In addition to Meijer, Price Chopper and Hy-Vee, more
leading U.S. retail chains will introduce the system to their customers in 2009. The ONQI algorithm was
created independent of financing and influence from food and beverage manufacturers. Retailers
interested in learning more about the NuVal System can contact NuVal LLC at partners@NuVal.com or
Located in Braintree, MA, NuVal licenses its proprietary food scoring system, which is based on ONQI
(Overall Nutrition Quality Index) science to food retailers across the country. NuVal is a joint venture
formed in 2008 by Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin Hospital of Derby, Conn., a non-profit community
hospital and home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.