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AWG moves to change packaging

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Kansas City, Kan.-based Associated Wholesale Grocers is rolling out plans to place nutritional facts on the front of its brands' packages, a move made in line with first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign to limit childhood obesity, according to a news release.

The privately held, retailer-owned cooperative's changes aim to place front-label nutritional facts, including calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugars, on products in its Best Choice and Always Save brands. If space is limited, only calorie data will be listed.

“We are working with our design teams and are well on our way to modifying the labels on the 3,000-some food products that we distribute,” AWG President and CEO Jerry Garland said in the release, noting the company is anticipating that the first products utilizing the new packaging will be distributed within 160 days.

AWG is making the change along with the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, two large retailer membership organizations based in Virginia and Washington, D.C., respectively.

“Even though the label modification is strictly voluntary, we believe it is an important and essential step in helping consumers make healthy choices when making food purchases,” Garland said in the release.

AWG, which has a Springfield distribution center, serves more than 2,500 stores in 24 states.

The company recently reported year-end net sales of $7.25 billion, with sales of Best Choice and Always Save items coming in at approximately $1 billion.
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