King Kullen Grocery Co. Inc. is introducing a nutrition scoring system in its 45 stores this week, aiming to help consumers navigate the increasing barrage of information and claims that food manufacturers now put on packaging.
The Bethpage-based family-run supermarket chain — which has 42 King Kullen stores on Long Island — has teamed up with NuVal, a Massachusetts-based nutrition firm, to offer an independent scoring system that has rated more than 13,000 items in its stores, company officials said. It is the first in the New York metropolitan area to use the NuVal system, the company said.
Its other three stores are on Staten Island.
King Kullen customers now can see nutrition ratings for everything from apples to Cap’n Crunch cereal on shelf tags throughout the stores. The NuVal system, which uses an algorithm that accounts for more than 30 nutrients, scores items on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the score the better the nutritional value.
Nutrients with generally favorable effects on health can help raise a food product’s score, while those with generally unfavorable health effects, such as trans fat, sodium and sugar, will lower the score.
And there have been some unexpected results. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal scores a 25, as does Cocoa Puffs.
“It’s an easy tool for customers to make their decision,” said Joseph Brown, vice president of sales and merchandising.