NuVal – My New Grocery Shopping Buddy

In Omaha there a quite a few supermarkets to choose from for groceries including Bag and Save, Bakers, Hy-Vee, No Frills, Super Saver, Walmart and more. But I’ve taken notice of one lately: Hy-Vee. They have started to make a move similar to Walgreens and Walmart; they have begun rebuilding or remodeling their stores from cookie-cutter box stores to a more inviting and unique stores.

This transition includes promoting more healthy and organic foods, kind of a middle-man between store XYZ and Whole Foods (which I’ve never been to). But was has been bringing me back more and more is their prominent displays of the NuVal scores. They are an easily recognizable icon next to each product’s price bar that contains a number from 1-100. The greater the number, the healthier the food choice for that food category.

What has caught my attention are facts such as Kraft Fat Free Italian Dressing is has a worse rating than the original. Another example would be noticing the salted and non-salted canned green beans. I’m going to put the same amount of salt on my green beans after I cook it, so I might as well start with none, thus increasing the product’s NuVal score by quite a few points. Even going after the frozen broccoli, some have a higher score because they are preserved or seasoned differently.

NuVal is not associated with any private brand or chain. The effort was funded by a non-profit hospital and was developed by a team of recognized nutrition and medical experts.

Anyone that knows me see that I could stand to loose a few pounds and by no means am a heath nut. What I see in the NuVal system is a system that I can use to make healthier choices when buying for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between. I also believe that as this catches on more, this will provide an incentive to producers to provide more healthier choices in their products.