SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A South Burlington grocery store says it’s about to become the healthiest one in the state by bringing transparency to the food ingredients in shopper’s carts.
Ask shoppers at Healthy Living — and they’ll tell you they’re looking for a few things.
“Organic, number one. And no added anything is my preference, but that’s obviously not always the case,” said Gail Ewell of Shelburne.
“I definitely look for affordability and quality in my products,” said Alex Vanraalte, a UVM Student.
Quality is what the South Burlington grocery store hopes to take up a notch with its latest effort. Starting October 1, the store is phasing out all products with: added hormones antibiotics, artificial fats and trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, bleached or bromated flour, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and artificial preservatives
Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: Do you know of any other store in Vermont that has done something like this?
Eli Lesser-Goldsmith: No. We’re the first.
Co-owner Eli Lesser-Goldsmith says the grocery business is getting increasingly competitive. More stores are offering organic options to meet customer demands. So they decided to take it one step further. “It’s a differentiator and it sets us apart from everyone else, and we’re proud of it,” he said. “What we say to our guests is, you can trust us more. You can trust our products more. You don’t have to read labels as much.”
Many customers say they support the initiative.
“I think it’s great. I think it’s great for people to have the option,” said Larson Berkey of South Burlington.
“I think it’s lovely for people who want to be that specific,” said Janet Dufresne of Burlington.
Healthy Living wouldn’t say which products specifically will be disappearing from the shelves, but they say most of their products already meet the standards.
Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: Are prices going to change as a result of this?
Eli Lesser-Goldsmith: No. Not at all.
That’s important to customers where prices factor into their buying decisions.
“Certain things I buy, the price will probably never be right here, just because of the type of store it is,” said Maddy Guile, a UVM Student. “Definitely as a college student, price matters.”
Officials at City Market Monday said have an agreement with the city of Burlington to provide a mix of products for customers and they said their mix model has served them well.