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Kira Karapetian

By: Kira Karapetian on June 5th, 2018

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Label Insight Works With American Heart Association® to Offer New Heart-Check Standard Certification Industry View

Label Insight News  |  Product

This morning, Label Insight is proud to introduce the American Heart Association Heart-Check Standard Certification Industry View. This new offering provides data for the industry to better understand market coverage for Heart-Check Food Certification Program's standard certification, assess potential eligibility, and provide insights on why products that don't qualify are not meeting their criteria. With the introduction of this new View, brands, retailers, government agencies, and researchers can better understand the food supply as it relates to cardiovascular health. 

The Heart-Check Food Certification Program's nutrition requirements are based on the sound science of the American Heart Association regarding heart-healthy dietary recommendations, including food categories, specific product ingredients and nutrient values. To qualify, products must meet a variety of nutrition requirements including, but not limited to guidelines for fat (total, saturated, and trans), cholesterol and sodium. They must also contain a naturally occurring beneficial nutrient such as vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein or dietary fiber.

The Heart-Check Certification Industry View is currently available for standard certification, which is the main certification type out of twelve total certification options available through the Heart-Check program.  Additional certification Views will be added and available for use throughout the coming year.

"Our work with the American Heart Association is particularly gratifying to me and my brother Anton as we founded Label Insight out of a personal need, stemming from our father's heart condition and his transition to a heart healthy diet," said Dagan Xavier, Co-founder and Executive Vice President, Data as Product at Label Insight. "Before we founded Label Insight, it was near impossible to determine what foods were appropriate for his condition -- and we weren't alone. This relationship shows our original use case in action. Now with the Heart-Check Standard Certification Industry View, brands and retailers can make it easier than ever before to alert consumers to products that meet the American Heart Association Heart-Check Certification guidelines. It's amazing that we've come full circle."

One of the most unique aspects of this View is the ability to determine why certain products do not meet the Heart-Check Certification Program nutrition requirements. Label Insight can identify which specific requirements products are likely to meet, and if appropriate, where they do not meet the criteria, via complex layered logic. Attributes start at a very high level and move down the layering funnel based on the given definition from the previous attribute. At the bottom of the funnel, the final attribute shows whether a product is likely to meet the requirements for Heart-Check standard certification for a given food category.  This intensive process allows Label Insight to understand where and why products are not meeting the requirements. Additionally, this information can help brands understand how they can reformulate their products to provide heart healthier options.

"We need to know what's in our food supply to improve upon it, so it's necessary to have this type of data to improve the public's cardiovascular health," said Dr. Mark Huffman, a practicing cardiologist, researcher, associate professor of preventive medicine and medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and chair of the American Heart Association's 2020 Goal Metrics Committee. "We have a long way to go as a country to improve the diets of all Americans, and it's almost unimaginable to think about how we could improve the food supply unless we have a way to track what's in it. Data from Label Insight, through the lens of the American Heart Association Heart-Check Food Certification Program, are important to define the food environment on a scale and level of granularity that just hasn't been possible until recently."

Currently, there are nearly 1000 products certified by the Heart-Check Certification Program. Label Insight, in conjunction with Nielsen sales data, determined that, in key categories, products with the Heart-Check mark are outpacing their respective category averages. For example, while the "Cereal & Granola" category is shrinking by two percent, those with Heart-Check certification are growing by three percent, outpacing the category as a whole. In "Processed Meats," the category is growing four percent, but products with Heart-Check certification are up 12 percent.  This data indicates that the Heart-Check Certification Program is helping to guide consumers to heart-healthy food options.

Consumers are prioritizing healthier food choices more than ever. Brands and retailers alike can use the Heart-Check Standard Certification View to better connect with today's shoppers. The View can help CPG brands track which products in their portfolio carry the Heart-Check mark, measure the proportion of their portfolio that may qualify, determine nutritional reformulations required to apply for Heart-Check certification, and evaluate how their product mix stacks up to competitors. Pairing that information with Nielsen's sales data can further uncover sales trends and the audience profile for product targeting. Retailers can use the View to power their health and wellness programs by identifying Heart-Check certified items, measure the proportion of inventory that may qualify for certification, and set goals for Heart-Check certified products.

See the press release on PR Newswire here