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NuVal(TM) Nutritional Scoring System Will Debut in Major U.S. Chains This September

BRAINTREE, Mass., July 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Three major U.S. grocery chains will be launching the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System in their stores in September, marking the first-wave debut of an on-shelf consumer education program that is expected to be operating nationwide by this time next year.

The system, developed over a two-year period by a panel of 12 medical and nutrition experts from leading North American universities and health organizations, uses a proprietary algorithmic formula to score the nutritional value of foods on a scale of one to 100, weighing some 30 different nutrient factors; the higher the score, the higher the nutrition value. NuVal, LLC, the independent company formed to bring the system to market, is a joint venture of Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin Hospital, home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and a teaching affiliate of the Yale University School of Medicine.

"Consumers want clear information about the nutritional value of the foods they eat, and NuVal scores are going to give it to them," said NuVal president Nancy McDermott. "We've got the scientific foundation, the logistical ability and the retail partners needed to bring this important education to consumers coast to coast."

The first grocery chains to use the NuVal system will be publicly named in September, and McDermott said the newly-formed company is focused on reaching all U.S. markets and scoring all 40,000 of the products available in the average grocery store by September 2009.

McDermott said the grocery industry at large is leading a "nutrition revolution," helping people make smarter food choices in their everyday lives.

NuVal's double-hexagon emblem, bearing the score of each individual product, will appear on shelf tags next to the price. Retailers will use banners, shelf-talkers, brochures, associate training and other forms of in-store communication to tell the NuVal story.

The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is powered by a patent-pending algorithm known as the Overall Nutritional Quality Index or ONQI. The algorithm was developed by a 12-member scientific panel led by Dr. David L. Katz, MD, Associate Professor, adjunct, of Public Health at Yale University School of Medicine and a nationally recognized authority on nutrition, weight control and the prevention of chronic disease.

About NuVal

NuVal a joint venture formed in 2008 by Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin Hospital of Derby, Conn., a non-profit community hospital and home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. Based in Braintree, Mass., NuVal licenses its proprietary food scoring system, which is based on ONQI science (Overall Nutrition Quality Index) to food retailers across the country, and works to expand the breadth of food scores across multiple food and beverage categories.

About Topco Associates LLC

Topco Associates LLC is an $8.8 billion, privately held company that provides innovative business solutions for its food industry member-owners and customers. Topco leverages the collective volume, knowledge and commitment of these companies to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace by reducing costs and offering winning business-building capabilities. Together, Topco members represent more than $113 billion in consumer sales and have thousands of stores across the country.

About Griffin Hospital

Griffin Hospital, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Griffin Health Services Corporation, is the home of the Center for Disease Control-funded Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. The research efforts of the Center are intended to measurably improve the standard of health and quality of life of the communities it serves and to develop innovative approaches to health promotion and disease prevention that will directly benefit the public's health. Griffin Hospital has received national acclaim for creating a facility and approach to patient care that provides an exceptional patient experience and superior clinical outcomes.

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