Healthy living initiatives are made 'Simple' for Safeway shoppers

Over the past seven years, Safeway has demonstrated a list of accomplishments aimed at healthier living, including launching its O Organics line of USDA certified-organic foods, removing added trans-fats from all of its private-label products and launching Eating Right for Kids, a line that contains no high fructose corn syrup. Today, the effort shows little signs of slowing as the chain kicked off 2011 with two new initiatives: SimpleNutrition and Open Nature.

SimpleNutrition, unveiled in mid-February, is an at-shelf program designed to simplify and personalize the grocery shopping experience as consumers increasingly are inundated with conflicting nutrition information. Under SimpleNutrition, green shelf tags highlight up to 2-of-22 different nutrition and ingredient benefits, such as gluten-free, organic, sodium-smart or made with whole grains. In January, the company introduced the Open Nature line, comprised of more than 100 products made with 100%-natural ingredients from natural sources.

However, the health-and-wellness initiatives don’t end in the food aisles for the $14-billion supermarket pharmacy powerhouse. Safeway also has been an early adopter of pharmacy-based vaccination programs. Last year, its pharmacies were quick to respond to the whooping cough outbreak that swept through California, making Adacel, a booster vaccine, available at all Safeway, Vons and Pavilions pharmacies on a walk-in basis.

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