Supermarket Rates Foods' Nutritional Value

You spot healthy food labels in your grocery store -- color-coded tags to mark foods that are good for your heart, good for diabetics, high in fiber, low in fat.

But there's one Northeast supermarket chain that, starting Saturday, will rate all of its food with a star system in all 158 of its stores so shoppers, at a glance, know what's nutritious.

Could it be a trend coming to a grocery store near you?

A Star System

The system is simple.

Hannaford Bros. Supermarket wanted to help shoppers confused by complicated labels to instantly recognize how much nutritional bang they're getting for their buck.

The chain hired doctors and nutritionists to develop a star rating system for 27,000 products.

They awarded credits to food with vitamins, minerals, fiber and whole grain.

Debits were given for trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, added sodium and added sugar.

Three stars is the highest, or healthiest, rating down. No stars is the lowest.

"This is not about good and bad. It's about nutrition -- those items that are good in nutrition, better, and best," said Caren Epstein, spokeswoman for Hannaford Bros. "There are no bad foods."

"I'm trying to be careful, you know, of what I'm eating these days, and it makes a big difference," said one Portland, Maine, shopper.

If Hannaford's trend spreads across the nation, it could turn some shoppers into skeptics.

"I think it's really stupid and an advertising gimmick," one Los Angeles shopper said.

ABC News consultant Dr. David Katz supports Hannaford's star system and has campaigned for years, even lobbying Washington for simpler food labels.

"Ultimately, what we really want is one labeling system to rule them all -- a really reliable measure of overall nutritional quality that everyone in the food industry can agree," Katz said. "This is the standard bearer."

No Complaints From Vendors

Even though some Hannaford stores already have star-labeled products on shelves, the big rollout for all 158 stores in five states is Saturday.

A Hannaford Bros. spokesperson said the company had met with vendors and explained the star system.

The store chain says none of the vendors complained about their products getting no -- or low -- stars.

The star-labeling system is good for business, according to the company.

The system builds brand loyalty, enhances the shopping experience, and differentiates Hannaford from other places consumers go to get food, like convenience stores and discount stores.