Grocery retailer Metro wants to help Ontarians choose healthy food during March, which is Nutrition Month, through new in-store and online initiatives that extend its “My Healthy Plate with Metro” program.
Metro has placed “smile” icons on shelf price tags to indicate those products that have been rated by the program’s dietitians. More than 3,000 products—from dairy to frozen meals—have been rated as either “good choices” or “great choices” to date, with a goal of making it clearer for consumers which products are nutritious. Each of the product categories, from cereal to fruit juices, was rated by the dietitians based on its own set of criteria, such as how much protein, fibre, vitamins and how little fat, salt and sugar the products contain.
The online component to the “My Healthy Plate with Metro” program also educates consumers about better food choices. This new component to Metro’s website offers tips and recipes to make healthy shopping and meal preparation easier. Registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom and Metro chef Caroline McCann, for example, share recipes for cranberry-nut energy bars and spicy spaghetti squash with basil and red bell peppers.
After researching Ontario shoppers’ eating and shopping habits, Metro launched its “My Healthy Plate with Metro” program in October 2013 to help “make healthy shopping, and eating, a fun and simple experience that will enable Ontarians to prepare better meals without the stress that some feel when it comes to eating well,” said Kathleen O’Hara,, Metro Ontario director of marketing and communications, in a release.
One result from Metro’s survey, which was based on the grocer’s Air Miles database of Ontario customers 18+, showed that a mere 22% of respondents find it very easy to identify healthy options.
“My Healthy Plate with Metro” was developed as part of a collaboration between Metro, the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics and a group of registered dietitians.