Guiding Stars refreshes look of nutrition labeling system



Ahold Delhaize USA subsidiary Guiding Stars has unveiled a new look for its product nutrition-labeling system designed to aid consumers.

Launched this week, the rebrand includes a new logo and updated star icons that make finding better-for-you products easier, Portland, Maine-based Guiding Stars said. In the center of the logo is a compass that represents the direction Guiding Stars gives as well as an apple representing nutrition. Together, the new symbols reflect a positive approach to communicating nutrition guidance, reinforced by gold stars, according to the company.

In addition, the star icons — found on product packaging, store shelf tags or on online platforms, for manufacturers and grocery retailers who use the system — now include the words “good,” “better” or “best” to more clearly inform consumers which products are most nutritious, Guiding Stars said. Outlined stars also were added to clarify that the Guiding Stars rating comes from a maximum total of three stars.

“As we’re emerging from the pandemic, consumers are more interested in health and nutrition then ever as they care for themselves and their families and manage health conditions, as well as look to boost their immune systems,” Julie Greene, director of Guiding Stars, said in a statement. “As the focus on healthy eating intensifies and Guiding Stars nears our 15th anniversary, it was the right time to freshen our approach and make it even easier for consumers to make good choices.”

Guiding Stars

With the new look, Guiding Stars now includes the words “good,” “better” or “best” to more clearly inform consumers which products are most nutritious.

Customers will begin to see the new branding on product packaging, in stores and on online shopping platforms for subscribing grocers and other clients starting this summer, Guiding Stars said. The new look is now integrated into the Guiding Stars website, which also offers insights and tips on food and nutrition.

Described as a “nutritional navigation” program, Guiding Stars employs a patented algorithm that analyzes and translates nutrition information into a user-friendly, star-based rating system. One star indicates that a product has “good” nutritional value, two stars signifies “better” nutritional value and three stars means “the best” nutritional value. If no Guiding Stars symbol is shown, the item is not nutritionally recommended, not rated yet because it’s new, contains fewer than five calories (such as water or tea), is a dietary supplement or medical food (such as baby formula) or has no nutritional information available.

Part of Ahold Delhaize USA, Guiding Stars launched at Hannaford in 2006 and at Food Lion in 2007 and then was expanded to Giant Food, Giant/Martin’s and Stop & Shop in 2018.

“We’re excited about these branding and visual enhancements because we believe that they will enable our existing clients to better support their customers’ nutrition needs and encourage more manufacturers and retailers to deploy the Guiding Stars system on product packages and physical and digital store shelves,” Greene added. “This can in turn help boost overall community health, which is our goal. We want to make an easy, immediate impact a person’s choice for a drink, meal or snack that makes someone feel good about their food choice and encourages ongoing nutritious choices.”