Healthy Choice and The American Dietetic Association Collaborate on Exclusive Nutrition Initiative

OMAHA, Neb., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A sneak peek at one of the nation's premiere food and nutrition trend surveys shows one in every three grocery shoppers is confused about what to eat to stay healthy(i). In fact, according to HealthFocus International(R)'s 2003 Trend Report, fewer shoppers feel knowledgeable about nutrition and health than they did in 1990. That's why ConAgra Foods' Healthy Choice(R) brand and The American Dietetic Association have created "Supermarket Shopping Solutions," a new program launching during National Nutrition Month(R) in March. It teaches consumers everything from reading food labels and understanding nutrition claims to planning balanced meals and selecting nutritious foods in every aisle of the grocery store.

"As a registered dietitian, I can tell you that knowing how to find nutritious foods that don't compromise on taste is an important step to eating a well-balanced diet," said Jackie Newgent, RD, nutrition consultant and chef. "But making those choices can be a challenge if you consider the average supermarket today is 44,000 square feet and contains more than 30,000 items. That's why Healthy Choice's Supermarket Shopping Solutions is so great. It provides easy tips and tools that can help even the most time-crunched consumer select nutritious foods and create great tasting, satisfying meals for any occasion."

According to the HealthFocus survey, about 60 percent of shoppers want to make dietary changes but want to do so gradually. Supermarket Shopping Solutions provides them with the tools and resources to achieve that goal including:

  • Supermarket tours in select markets, where registered dietitians personally take consumers through the store, helping them select nutritious foods in each aisle

  • A pocket guide, which provides useful advice for a satisfying shopping experience, including tips for making nutritious food choices in each aisle, creating great tasting recipes at home and even how to get the kids excited about grocery shopping

  • Web site features on www.healthychoice.com include a "virtual tour" of the supermarket where consumers can find easy tips on selecting nutritious foods in any aisle and section of the store, as well as materials they can download to easily create their own menu plans and shopping lists

  • Outreach to dietitians to help them help consumers easily make nutritious choices and eat a well-balanced diet

"Healthy Choice is consumers' ally when it comes to finding nutritious foods in any aisle of the Supermarket because we are the only brand that provides a variety of great tasting, satisfying foods for any meal occasion," says Joe Ennen, vice president and general manager of Healthy Choice. "We are proud to be partnering with The American Dietetic Association on Supermarket Shopping Solutions as part of our commitment to helping consumers take easy steps toward a healthy lifestyle."

The American Dietetic Association Supports Initiative

According to The American Dietetic Association's recent trends survey, 63 percent of Americans are frustrated because they feel they only hear about foods they shouldn't eat, rather than those they should(ii) eat, and they are still confused about what constitutes a healthy diet.

"Supermarket Shopping Solutions is a valuable tool for consumers because it easily demonstrates how all foods can fit into a healthy, well-balanced diet and provides important information consumers can use to make informed choices," said The ADA President and registered dietitian Julie O'Sullivan Maillet.

Here are some of the top solutions to making the most of your shopping experience:

    1. Plan Ahead.  List out meal ideas for the week, keeping in mind which
       days you'll have time to cook from scratch and which days you'll be
       pressed for time to put dinner on the table.  When time is short, opt
       for convenience items and couple a frozen entree with ready-to-eat
       produce.  And be creative!  If you plan for pizza one night, shop for
       salad, milk and fruit to balance out the meal.
    2. Organize the List.  As you create your shopping list, check your menu
       options against the Food Guide Pyramid to ensure you've remembered
       everything from poultry to produce.  This will help ensure you are
       purchasing a variety of foods that provide all of your nutrient needs.
    3. Read the Labels.  The Nutrition Label can be a consumer's best shopping
       tool.  Learn how to identify the content of key nutrients such as fat
       and saturated fat, as well as determine caloric content and the amount
       of essential nutrients the product provides.
    4. Know the Tricks of the Trade.  Knowing how to shop and what to look for
       in each aisle/section of the     store helps guarantee a cart stocked
       with nutritious foods from beef to broccoli.  For instance, to choose
       leaner cuts of beef look for "round" or "loin" in the name.  Remember
       frozen vegetables are just  as high in nutrients as their fresh
       counterparts.  And, look for "whole grain" when choosing breads and
       pastas for more fiber.

Other tips to keep you on track at the supermarket:

  • Don't Shop Hungry. Leave the decisions to your head, not your stomach. It's easier to stick to the shopping list if you are not hungry, so plan to eat something before you go.

  • Set a Routine. Establish a day and time that makes it easy for you to move quickly and easily through the store and stay focused on your shopping needs.

  • Save Money. Coupon clipping or finding stores that price match are great strategies for saving money. Coupons are also a great way to expand your food choices. Use a coupon to experiment with a new meal item that you wouldn't normally purchase.

  • Kids in Tow? An enjoyable grocery shopping experience with children is possible! Use it as an opportunity to give your kids a lesson in color, smell and names of new foods.

Become Supermarket Savvy on healthychoice.com

Consumers can visit www.healthychoice.com to take a virtual supermarket tour that provides tips for selecting nutritious options in every aisle and section of the store. Consumers can also download templates for a weekly menu planner and shopping list, as well as order a Supermarket Shopping Solutions pocket guide that puts helpful hints at their fingertips. In addition, visitors will find a link to The American Dietetic Association's Web site at www.eatright.org where they can obtain more nutrition information and locate a dietitian in their area who can answer individual questions.

The recently updated Healthy Choice Web site features recipe ideas and information on all Healthy Choice products, an e-newsletter and Healthy Rewards where consumers can register for great offers and important information.

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's largest packaged food companies, serving consumer grocery as well as restaurant and foodservice establishments. Popular ConAgra Foods consumer brands include: Hunt's, Healthy Choice, Banquet, Armour, Bumble Bee, Louis Kemp, La Choy, Lunch Makers, Knott's Berry Farm, Wesson, Country Pride, Blue Bonnet, Kid Cuisine, Parkay, Reddi-wip, Marie Callender's, Cook's, Butterball, ACT II, Slim Jim, Eckrich, Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Snack Pack, Van Camp's, Peter Pan, Hebrew National, Gulden's, Pemmican, Brown 'N Serve, Swiss Miss, and many others. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com .

(i) HealthFocus Trend Report, HealthFocus International(R) 2003

(ii) Nutrition & You: Trends 2002, American Dietetic Association, 2002 SOURCE ConAgra Foods

-0- 03/10/2003

/CONTACT: Stephanie Gopp of Dome Communications for ConAgra Foods, +1-312-251-1066, stephanieg@domecom.com /

/Web site: http://www.conagrafoods.com