FORT LEE, Va. — Just in time for those whose New Year’s resolution is to be more fit and watch what they eat, commissaries worldwide will debut their new nutrition guide program in January.
The program catch phrase, “Dietitian Approved! We Did the Work for You!” aptly describes it. Through color-coded shelf tags, customers will find it easy to spot products featuring one or more of five popular nutritional attributes such as low sodium, no-added sugar and high fiber. The labels also highlight organic products.
“Military service is all about readiness and resilience, and the foods we eat play a big role in that,” said Defense Commissary Agency Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. “By highlighting the products with key nutrient attributes our commissary patrons look for, our nutrition guide program makes shopping much more convenient and effective to help service members and their Families meet their health and wellness needs.”
The NGP is based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture criteria and standards, which are widely recognized and trusted, according to Deborah Harris, DeCA dietitian. All NGP shelf labels for manufactured products are based on the food manufacturer’s product labeling, including the Nutrition Facts Panel and ingredients list.
Some NGP labels will have a “Thumbs Up” icon, which means the products align closely with the green category (high nutrition quality/high performance foods) of the Department of Defense’s Go for Green program, Harris said.
DeCA collaborated with key DOD agency and service branch health and wellness experts to align NGP with the Go for Green nutrition education program, which uses traffic light colors to identify food choices in military dining facilities.
“Customers will find more than 600 ‘Thumbs Up’ items just in the center of our stores, where you find the unrefrigerated packaged and canned goods,” Harris said.
More detailed information about the program, including the color code guide and frequently asked questions, are on the commissary website at https://commissaries.com/healthy-living/nutrition-guide.cfm.
“Part of our brand promise is, ‘We’re More,’ and offering this level of service that makes shopping more convenient is a great way to start off the New Year,” Jeu said.