QUINCY, MASS. — The Stop & Shop Supermarket chain has introduced Healthy Ideas, an on-the-shelf nutrition symbol program intended to make it more convenient for consumers to find food products deemed healthy by the retailer. The new program bases its determination of what is healthy by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration definitions of a healthy food.

"Our goal is to make shoppers’ lives easier, so they don’t feel overwhelmed by all of their options," said Andrea Astrachan, consumer adviser at Stop & Shop. "Instead of standing in the aisles comparing every label, they can let us do the work for them."

To qualify as healthy within the Stop & Shop program, a food must be limited in total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium as well as contain at least 10% of the daily value for one or more of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein or fiber. The program also includes criteria for limiting artificial trans fatty acids and sugar, taking into account the inclusion of natural sugars in the appropriate food categories.