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Press release from CNW Group

Provigo®, Loblaws® and Provigo Le Marché? Banner Stores Make it Simple for Quebecers to Make Nutritious Food Choices with the Guiding Stars® Program

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Provigo®, Loblaws® and Provigo Le Marché? Banner Stores Make it Simple for Quebecers to Make Nutritious Food Choices with the Guiding Stars® Program

12:40 EDT Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Survey says: eight out of ten Quebecers want help making nutritious food choices

MONTREAL, Aug. 13, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - (TSX: L) - According to a survey* conducted by CROP for Loblaw, 90 per cent of Quebecers say they want to make healthier food choices, and 80 percent say they could use some help to achieve this goal. To support Quebecers in making better choices Provigo®, Loblaws® and Provigo Le MarchéTM banner stores in the province have launched the Guiding Stars® program — a simple, user-friendly tool that assists consumers in quickly identifying nutritious foods throughout the grocery store.

Guiding Stars® is an impartial rating system that uses stars to help identify nutritious foods at a glance. It rates foods based on their nutrient density using a patented algorithm. Foods are rated based on a balance of credits and debits. Foods are credited for vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, whole grains, and Omega-3 fatty acids, and debited for saturated fats, trans fats, added sodium and added sugar. They are then given a rating of 1, 2 or 3 stars (with 3 stars being the highest rating an item can receive). The food rating algorithm uses the product's nutrition profile as outlined on nutrition labels or, in the case of fresh meat, seafood and produce, in Health Canada's national nutrient database.

"One in two Quebecers shop at a Loblaw banner store each week and we work really hard to ensure we meet their priorities, including helping them make informed decisions about healthier food choices," said Pierre Dandoy, Senior Vice-President, Operations, Provigo®, Provigo Le Marché™ and Loblaws®, Québec. "Consumers' food choices have an impact on their health and that of their families and Loblaw is committed to supporting Quebecers in their efforts to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The Guiding Stars® program is part of this commitment."

"Our recent survey revealed that nine out of ten Quebecers regularly or occasionally look at nutrition facts tables when making food choices and that 30 percent of those who look at the nutrition facts tables say that they find them confusing. This ratio increases to close to 40 per cent among those aged 55 and older," says Nathalie Regimbal, dietitian/nutritionist and consultant for Loblaw. "As a complement to existing nutritional data, the simple to understand Guiding Stars® program can help make selecting nutritious food options easier."

Loblaws®, Provigo® and Provigo Le Marché banner stores also offer a number of healthier food options, namely through the PC® Blue Menu® line of products. PC® Blue Menu® packaging makes it easy to quickly identify the nutritional benefits of a product, indicated by plus (+) and minus (-) symbols. Loblaw is also expanding its President's Choice® Organics product line, and reducing sodium, and increasing the fibre, vitamins and other healthier elements in its private label products.

Guiding Stars® is exclusive to Loblaw Companies Limited in Canada.  In addition to Provigo®, Loblaws® and Provigo Le MarchéTM banner stores in Quebec, the program is available at Loblaws®, Zehrs Markets®, Your Independent Grocer®, valu-mart®, Fortinos® and Real Canadian Superstore® in Ontario and Loblaws CityMarket™ in Vancouver, BC.

To learn more about the Guiding Stars® program, visit the Provigo®, Loblaws® or Provigo Le MarchéTM banner store nearest you, or go to www.guidingstars.ca

About Provigo, a member of the Loblaw Group
Provigo is a member of the Loblaw group, one of the largest private sector employers in Québec and Canada's largest food retailer. The Loblaw group employs nearly 30,000 people in the province of Québec through its 400 corporate, franchised and affiliated stores operated mainly under the Provigo®, Provigo Le Marché™, Maxi®, Maxi & Cie®, Loblaws®, Club Entrepôt Provigo® and Les Entrepôts Presto® banners. The Loblaw group also offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh® brands. In addition, it makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.

About Guiding Stars Licensing Co.
Since 2006, Guiding Stars has been leading the way in helping consumers make nutritious food choices and has received patents in both the U.S. and Canada for its nutrition rating algorithm. The Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program is a simple, easy-to-understand tool for making good nutrition choices and is designed to make a positive and lasting impact on public health. Guiding Stars is currently found in more than 1,800 supermarkets including Hannaford, Food Lion, Sweetbay, Homeland, Marsh, as well as Loblaw's Supermarkets in Ontario and Quebec. Guiding Stars has also expanded into public schools, colleges and hospitals and appears on the Shopper mobile iPhone application. Additional information can be found at www.guidingstars.com.

* Survey conducted by CROP. Data collection was conducted online from July 30 to August 4, 2013, via a Web panel. A total of 1027 questionnaires were completed by Quebec based adults who are responsible in whole or in part for food purchases for their household.
The results were weighted to reflect the distribution of the Quebec adult population responsible for food purchases by sex, age and area of residence.
Note that given the non-probabilistic sample, the calculation of the margin of error does not apply.


SOURCE: Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information:

Jade Lavallée Labossière
Hill + Knowlton Stratégies
514 395-0375 ext. 224
Jade.lavallee-labossiere@hkstrategies.ca

Geneviève Poirier
Specialist, Corporate Affairs
Provigo, a member of the Loblaw Group
514 383-8800, ext. 6157 | pr@loblaw.ca

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