When you have been grocery shopping at your local Loblaws have you noticed 1, 2 or 3 stars stamped on the price label? Maybe you saw them, but weren’t sure what they were?
These are Guiding Stars® and they are part of the Loblaws Guiding Stars® Program.
Believe me when I tell you, following these stars is going to make shopping for nutritious products effortless.
There will be no more calculating and comparing the fine print of nutrition fact tables in an attempt to determine the most healthful option. The Guiding Stars® Program has done all of the work for you.
What are Guiding Stars®
Guiding Stars® is an impartial nutrition navigation program that uses stars on the store shelves to highlight, at a glance, nutritious food choices. It is a totally unbiased program; just because a product is a PC® brand does not mean it will earn a higher rating than a competitor’s brand.
The Guiding Stars® Program rates food based on nutrient density using a scientific algorithm to assign a 0, 1, 2 or 3 star rating. The Guiding Stars® team works with two of Canada’s leading nutritional scientists to rate foods based on vitamins, minerals, fibre, whole grains, Omega-3s, saturated fat, trans fat, added sodium and added sugar.
Star ratings are based on the following criteria:
The system is very simple to follow. All you need to do is take a quick glance at the product price tag to see if a product has a 0, 1, 2 or 3 star rating, with 3 being the highest.
You can then easily find the most nutritious option for you and your family.
You will find Guiding Stars® throughout the store – in produce, packaged food aisles, seafood, dairy, the meat counter, and the bakery. You will also find Guiding Stars® on shelf unit price tags for foods earning stars.
If you don’t see Guiding Stars® on the price tag, it means one of three things.
- The food did not meet the standards to earn a star.
- The category is not rated by Guiding Stars®—such as alcoholic beverages and products containing less than 5 calories per serving like bottled water, dried spices, tea and coffee.
- The item is new to the store and has not yet finished being rated.
If you are not sure if a product has a score of zero, or is not yet rated (NR), you can take a closer look at the product price tag.
In the example above, where the arrow is pointed, is where you will also see the Guiding Star® rating. The letter “S” stands for “Stars” and it will be followed by a number from 0 – 3 or NR which means the product has not yet been rated.
To see if following the Guiding Stars® Program is going to facilitate a healthier diet. If you increase your purchase of more nutritious foods, will you consume an even healthier, more nutritious diet?
Tracking of Progress
Progress will be tracked using the NEW! Guiding Stars® Personal Profile. This tool tracks the number of Guiding Stars® rated products in your grocery shop and assigns a level from 1 to 5. The greater the number of starred products in your cart, the higher your level will be.
It can even show you how your basket rates compared to the rest of Canada, your province, and your local grocery store.
This tool is available to PC Plus™ registered members and it tracks your stars each time you scan your PC Plus™ card or app.
To maintain a Level 4 rating and strive to increase to a Level 5.
You Can Participate Too!
It will be lots of fun to challenge yourself, your family, friends and coworkers to check out their Guiding Stars® Personal Profile.
Have weekly or biweekly reviews, little incentives for the highest scores and the most improved, a healthy recipes swap. The ideas are limitless!
Don’t forget, your personal profile also has many tips and resources to make the challenge interesting and fun. Such as:
- Your current level
- Your shopping cart this week
- Featured products
- A chart showing how you compare to other PC Plus™ members at a national, provincial, regional, city, or store level.
Next time you are shopping at your local Loblaws, Fortinos, Zehrs, Valu-Mart, Independent, Real Canadian Superstore, Atlantic Superstore or any PC grocery store near you, take note of the Guiding Stars®.
When you get back home:
- Log into your Loblaws.ca account (or create one, it’s easy).
- Click the drop down menu to the right of your name.
- There you will find the “My Guiding® Stars Profile”.
- Click on it and you will be taken to your personalized profile which reflects the shopping habits of the cardholder.
It’s that easy!
We try hard to make the most nutritious selections for our family; but decoding nutrition labels can be confusing and time consuming. Guiding Stars® has taken out the guesswork and made it easy to choose foods that are healthy and nutritious for our families.