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Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover launch new health, wellness initiatives

BY Alaric DeArment

LANDOVER, Md. — Two of Royal Ahold’s U.S. supermarket chains are offering new labeling to make gluten-free foods easier to find in the store, while one has launched a new magazine to address childhood obesity.

Giant-Landover and Stop & Shop announced new shelf labels designed to make gluten-free foods easier to spot for shoppers. The labels are colored blue and green and are placed directly below products. "We want to make grocery shopping as convenient as possible for all our shoppers," Giant-Landover president Anthony Hucker said. "People who maintain gluten-free diets no longer have to check ingredients on every item they purchase in Giant, but instead [can] look for the blue and green gluten-free shelf tags. We’re happy to offer this convenience to all our customers, whatever their dietary needs may be."

In addition, Stop & Shop has started a quarterly magazine, Kid Healthy Ideas, and placed it in its stores. The 12-page magazine is aimed at children aged 8 years to 12 yeras and features health-related educational articles, games and recipes. "For many families, healthy eating choices begin at the supermarket, and with childhood obesity on the rise, it’s an important issue to Stop & Shop," Stop & Shop New York metro division public and community relations manager Arlene Putterman said.

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Hershey launches low-fat chocolate

BY Allison Cerra

HERSHEY, Pa. — Hershey is making its foray into lower-fat chocolate, the company announced during its first-quarter earnings call on Tuesday.

Th company confirmed that as it continues to roll out Jolly Rancher Crunch ‘N Chew, as well as launch of Rolo Minis and Ice Breakers Duos, the company is launching Hershey’s Simple Pleasures in a "smooth and creamy" format that touts 30% less fat than the average leading chocolate, Hershey president and CEO John Bilbrey said. Hershey’s Simple Pleasures smooth and creamy will be available in milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vanilla crème varieties and will hit store shelves in June.

Hershey’s first-quarter sales totaled $1.7 billion, compared with $1.5 billion in first quarter 2011. Net income was 87 cents per diluted share during the quarter, compared with 70 cents per diluted share in the year-ago period. Full-year net sales are expected to increase 7% to 9%, Hershey said.

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Hy-Vee promotes sustainability with new website, partnership with seafood group

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Supermarket-pharmacy chain Hy-Vee is launching two initiatives designed to promote sustainability, in recognition of Earth Day.

The company announced the creation of a sustainability and healthy living-themed website, Hy-Vee 360, to promote its various initiatives, including its recent partnership with FishWise, a sustainable seafood advocacy group. The chain also is tying sustainability together with healthy living by using the Hy-Vee 360 site to highlight its in-store dietitians, HealthMarket departments and the NuVal nutritional scoring system, as well as information about green building practices, energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling, local sourcing and sustainable packaging.

"As a company, we are dedicated to promoting the well-being of our customers, our employees, our communities and the global environment," Hy-Vee assistant VP real estate and sustainability Mike Smith said. "This means not only operating as a good steward of the environment, but also providing our customers with the resources to live more healthy and sustainable lives."

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