NuVal: Nutritional Scoring System

Look for this NuVal Symbol

If you’ve always wondered about the nutritional value of the foods you buy, you’re in luck. This past fall, grocery stores began using NuVal™ Scores that are based on a NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System. The score rates foods from 1 to 100, and the higher the number, the higher the nutritional value of the food.

A NuVal™ Score is based on more than thirty different nutrients and nutritional factors. The system was developed by nutritional and medical authorities, led by Dr. David Katz. They wanted to develop an independent and simplified nutritional scoring system and based the system on federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans (for everyone over the age of two years old) that are published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NuVal’s goal is to score every single food (even private label foods) in grocery stores throughout America, so consumers can compare products nutritionally.

Foods Categories and NuVal™ Score Ranges 
Foods Score Ranges
Canned Vegetables 3 to 100
Cereals 4 to 100
Cookies 1 to 40
Crackers 2 to 87
Fruits & Vegetables 24 to 100
Frozen Vegetables 23 to 100
Meat & Poultry 24 to 53
Pasta 11 to 91
Salty Snacks 1 to 52
Seafood 36 to 87

You’ll be able to compare products at a glance because the NuVal™ Scores will appear on or near shelf price tags. There will also be banners, brochures, and other store signs informing and educating consumers about the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System. Additionally, online information will be available, and it will list nutritional values. Although more stores are expected to be added throughout 2009, those stores chosen to roll out NuVal™ Scores are

  • Price Chopper.  Price Chopper is based in Schenectady, New York, but has 116 stores that will be debuting the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System. They are based throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. To locate a Price Chopper store click here.
  • Hy-Vee.  This Iowa-based store is featuring NuVal™ Scores in stores in Des Moines. To locate a store near you, click here.

One draw back to the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System is they do not differentiate between organic and conventional grown foods because “there is no widely validated evidence that organic foods have a higher nutritional value or greater nutrient density than food not grown organically.” Therefore, it will still be up to consumers to determine the nutritional value and difference between organic and conventional foods. If you want to learn more about how NuVal™ works, click here.


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