CVS Pharmacy is the first national retail pharmacy chain to announce the removal of partially hydrogenated oils (PHO), the primary source of artificial trans fats in processed foods, from all its exclusive store brands food products. The retailer now offers over 600 exclusive snack and grocery options which are free from artificial trans fats. This comes a year and a half ahead of the Food and Drug Administration's deadline of June 2018 for processed foods to be reformulated without artificial trans fats, underscoring the company's ongoing commitment to customers' health. Linked to rising rates of heart disease in the U.S., the removal of artificial trans fats in processed foods is expected to aid in reducing coronary heart disease and help prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year. With its purpose of helping people on their path to better health, CVS Pharmacy continues to ensure its own store brands demonstrate quality and innovation that match or exceed industry standards, while offering the best possible value.
"We applaud CVS Pharmacy for working proactively to remove artificial trans fats from its store brands products well in advance of the federal deadline," said Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, Chief Medical Officer for Prevention at the American Heart Association. "The early removal of trans fats in all CVS Pharmacy store brands products will help to improve overall heart health and prevent heart disease for many Americans."
"At CVS Pharmacy we are dedicated to helping our customers lead healthier lives, and moved quickly to ensure all of our snack and grocery store brands products are free from artificial trans fats," said Judy Sansone, senior vice president front store business & chief merchant, CVS Health. "Our commitment to producing high quality products reinforces that CVS Pharmacy is a leading health destination."
Effective since the start of January, all snack and grocery store brands products developed by CVS Pharmacy and shipping to distribution centers are free from artificial trans fats. The early removal of artificial trans fats from all store brands products follows a significant expansion of healthy foods to stores nationwide throughout 2016. This initiative is a critical step as the company continues to evolve into a premier health destination, providing millions of customers healthier food options that are convenient, affordable and innovative. Other initiatives include:
- The nationwide roll-out of the exclusive store brand CVS Health, a flagship line of more than 2,500 health and wellness products focused on effective and affordable care as well as unexpected innovations spanning 19 categories.
- Moving healthy foods towards the front of stores.
- Dedicating roughly 25 percent of front checkout space to better-for-you snacks.
- Introducing healthy eating trend zones that showcase carefully curated selections of paleo, raw and vegan snacks at key periods throughout the year.
- The "Fit Choices" shelf tagging program, helping customers easily find healthier items in stores by clearly identifying products that fit nutritional and dietary preferences including heart healthy, good source of protein, gluten free, sugar free, organic and non-GMO project verified.
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CVS Pharmacy is also committed to expanding its exclusive Gold Emblem abound™ snack and grocery line to provide customers with additional wholesome, great-tasting products that are free from artificial preservatives and flavors. The line offers a variety of products that are gluten-free, USDA organic, non-GMO project verified, heart healthy, low sodium, high in protein, a good source of fiber or sugar-free.