Harmons Shelf Tags: Defined

January 26, 2021
| Created by Melanie Taylor, MS, RDN, CD

Does a trip to the grocery store ever leave you feeling confused and defeated? With such a variety of foods on the shelves and the many health claims on packaging, how do you decide what foods are the best to keep you healthy? What if you have added dietary concerns like eating gluten free? Or maybe you have a mind for sustainability and buying local and organic products are your top concerns. Don’t worry, you’re not alone—and Harmons is here to help! At Harmons, we have color-coded tags that make finding the right groceries for your individual needs easier. Our tags are most helpful when you know what to look for. Read on for a quick and easy users’ guide to Harmons shelf tags!

Dietitians Choice: Dietitians Choice is like having your own personal dietitian at your side to help you navigate the store aisles, make recommendations, and endorse healthy products. Our team of registered dietitian nutritionists breaks the science of nutrition down into real-world healthy living solutions. Products marked as Dietitians Choice have our dietitians’ stamp of approval when it comes to nutritional value.

Harmons dietitians independently review nutrition of every item without influence from food manufacturers, marketers, or third parties. They use the most current science to sift through nutritional information and highlight delicious products that are low in sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat. Those green tags also steer you towards increasing good foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. You can take comfort knowing that Dietitians Choice products will never contain artificial sweeteners, trans fats, MSG, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup.

Local: Harmons loves local because quality starts at home! We put this tag on any product that comes from a Utah, a regionally-owned company, or those that are produced or manufactured in and around Utah. In addition to the economic and ecologic benefits that come with buying products not manufactured or grown in distant fields and factories, customers also end up with fresher products, made with wholesome ingredients by Utah farmers and entrepreneurs. Harmons is not just another grocery store in the Utah market. We’re your homegrown, local neighborhood grocer whose roots are firmly planted in Utah soil. We want to support other local businesses so they might see the same 80-plus years of success in the community that we have. Harmons actively looks for local companies whose products would benefit our customers. We currently sell goods from over 350 Utah companies, with as many as 40 different products each. Look for the blue “local” tags to try Utah made products.

Organic: Dark green tags or strips (in the produce department) are what you’re looking for if organic ingredients are a priority. Harmons has tons of organic produce. You can find an organic counterpart to almost any produce item on your list In fact, some produce we only sell organically. We also handle organic produce separately to protect its integrity. We use separate carts, separate aprons, and separate sides of the cooler for organic produce. On the shelf, you’ll notice that all of our organic produce is separated from our conventional produce. 

Throughout the store, you can see that Harmons’ organic variety is unparalleled. We tag everything that has the USDA organic seal. This seal signifies the product is made with at least 95% organic ingredients. This means it was grown and processed without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers and contains no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. By the way, if a product makes the claim: “Made with” organic ingredients, it has to be at least 70% organic. 

Gluten Free: A purple tag is used if a product states no gluten, gluten-free, without gluten or free of gluten. Federal labeling rules state that products with any of these claims much contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten, which is a level considered safe for people with Celiac Disease. Harmons has over 5,000 gluten-free products with more being added all the time? We understand the frustration of having dietary restrictions and we work hard to offer our customers as much variety as possible.  To make shopping easier and more fun, we integrate gluten free options throughout the entire store rather than having one small section of gluten free items.

Vegan: Have you chosen a vegan lifestyle? Our vegan products have a small black and white icon on the upper right hand corner of the tags. What does vegan mean for food and supplements?  Any item that states vegan on its package will get an icon.  We chose to tag all items that say they are vegan rather than only products labeled certified vegan. Harmons promotes many small and local companies that may not yet be able to get a vegan certification and we did not want to exclude those smaller producers.

Harmons understands that many people who choose to live a vegan lifestyle are concerned about animal welfare.  In order for a product to be considered vegan in the health and beauty area of our stores, the product must state that it is vegan and certified cruelty-free. 

It’s important to know that an item might get multiple tags. For example, a particular quinoa could be Dietitians Choice, Organic, Gluten Free, and Vegan! Be sure to look along the bottom of a shelf tag for all the attributes. If you do your shopping on Harmons eShop, you can also filter by Dietitians Choice, Gluten Free, Organic, Local and/or Vegan.

Our team does all of the detailed label reading to save you time.  We hope our tags make for convenient, clear decisions whether it’s in the store aisles or on our eShop site.  For more product suggestions or assistance in utilizing our tags, contact us at dietitian@harmonsgrocery.com.