When grocery shopping, some of us tend to stick to the same brand for certain products. This could be due to a number of reasons such as brand loyalty, superior quality, better taste or simply purchasing out of habit.
Having to choose between the many products offered off the shelves and getting distracted by other products we did not come to buy is often why we end up spending longer in the supermarket than we intended to.
Sometimes when choosing between two brands for the same product, we end up comparing factors such as the price and nutritional value to help us make a decision. The importance of health is constantly emphasized and consumers are now making more informed decisions when purchasing.
The Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS)
The Healthier Choice Symbol can be found on many packaged food products in our supermarkets. This symbol tells consumers that these products are healthier options based on their HCS nutrient guidelines.
According to the Health Promotion Board, the HCS can be seen on about 2,600 different food products across more than 60 food categories.
The symbol also tells consumers specifically how it is a healthier option. Examples of some detailed labels include:
- Higher in whole grains
- Higher in calcium
- Lower in saturated fat
- Lower in cholesterol
- Trans fat free
- Lower in sodium
- No added sugar
- Eat all foods in moderation
The process for companies to apply for the HCS is relatively simple. Applications can be submitted online along with a nutrient analysis report of their product.
Are Food Items with the Healthier Choice Symbol More Expensive?
Looking at a few commonly found bought items in the supermarket, we compare products that are as similar as possible. For those who just want the answers, skip to the end of the table for our conclusion.
Based on our comparison above between products that carry the HCS logo and those that don’t, generally we are not paying more for healthier food items (with the HCS). What accounts more significantly for price disparity is the brand of the products.
The next time you head to the supermarket, perhaps it’s time to be more conscious of your food choices and pick the ones which are healthier in certain ways.