Guiding Stars Background for Business Partners

Guiding Stars makes it fast, fun and easy to spot healthier, more nutritious foods while you shop. The first storewide nutrition guidance program, Guiding Stars takes the guesswork out of making nutritious choices by providing an at-a-glance tool that helps busy consumers identify and choose foods that offer the most nutritional value without having to read and compare every label.

Based on a mathematical algorithm developed by an advisory panel of nutrition scientists and public health experts the patented Guiding Stars program assesses data gleaned from Nutrition Facts Panels, ingredient lists and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s national nutrient database.

The advisory panel drew from the already extensive work in developing labeling practices and determining beneficial nutrient levels by leading national health authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, USDA, and other national and international health organizations.

Guiding Stars analyzes nutrient data on every edible product in the store and assigns each item a rating of zero to three stars: one Guiding Star indicates good nutritional value, two Guiding Stars indicates better, and three Guiding Stars means the food offers the best nutritional value for the calories it contains. The Guiding Stars symbols are featured prominently on store shelf tags, scale labels and other grocery store signage to help consumers quickly evaluate products as they shop. .
If a product has 1-3 stars, it means that the product has:

  • More: vitamins, minerals, fiber, whole grains
  • Less: trans fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sodium, added sugar

If a product has no stars, it means that the product is not rated by this program or does not meet the criteria (outlined above) to receive a star.

How Do My Products Rate?

Please send an E-mail to with the following information:

  • Manufacturer’s ID - 1st 6 digits of 11-digit UPC code
  • Produce - National PLU Code
  • Fresh random weight items - Department, Delhaize America Vendor # & Delhaize America Item #

Upon this request, Guiding Stars can provide a spreadsheet containing:

  • UPC, Product Description, Rating (0-3 stars), Data from Nutrition Facts Panel and ingredient list.
  • Elements for which product score was credited and debited.

If data has changed, instructions on updating information and recalculating product score will be provided. Any new items must be accepted by our category managers through the normal process before they will be rated by the Guiding Stars program.

Consumer Need

Guiding Stars undertook extensive consumer research that led to the development of the program. Studies revealed confusion regarding nutrition-related information in the media, advertisements, on food packaging and on Nutrition Facts panels. Consumers indicated that they wanted to live healthier lifestyles and were seeking a convenient, simple way to shop for more nutritious foods. 

Consumer inquiries are addressed via a toll-free hotline and E-mail. Much more information about Guiding Stars is available through our web-site at