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Better Scores For A Better You

At TOPS, we believe that you shouldn't have to be an expert to make healthy food choices for you and your family. That's why we offer Nutritional NuVal® Scores, so you can know the nutritional value of what you're buying, when you're buying it - without having to read fact panels and package labels.

The NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System is a widely recognized food scoring system that makes it easy for you to quickly see the nutritional value of items with a single, simple score from 1 to 100 so you can make better choices. The higher the NuVal® Score, the better the nutrition.

How NuVal® Works

Nutritional Scores consider more than 30 nutrients and nutrition factors, like carbohydrates, proteins and fat, as well as the quality of the nutrients. The not-so-good stuff? We also look at trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar and sodium. The net result takes all that complex nutritional science and delivers an easy-to-understand score from 1-100 right to your grocery store. The higher the number, the better the nutrition. That's the NuVal® Score.

Plus, NuVal® nutrition and medical experts are always updating NuVal® Scores due to scientific advancement, reformulation of products and changes to federal dietary guidelines. Wow, that was a mouthful! Good thing we do the science so you don't have to!

Click here to download a NuVal® brochure.

Shop with NuVal®

It's so easy to compare nutrition at TOPS and it won't slow your shopping at all. The NuVal® System's 1-100 scoring range makes it easier than ever to shop for good nutrition.
All you have to do is:

Find It NuVal® scores are located on shelf tags next to the price.

Score It The higher the NuVal® score, the higher the nutrition and the better it is for you

Compare It Compare NuVal® Scores the same way you compare price.

Bag It Feel confident you made the healthier, better-for-you choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on each question to expand or hide.

A: The NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System is a food scoring system that allows you to see-at a glance-the nutritional value of the food you buy. NuVal® ranks all foods on a scale of 1 to 100; the higher the score, the more nutritious the food. NuVal® is a tool you can easily use while shopping at TOPS to make more nutritious food choices. Using NuVal®, you will find good nutrition and good value in places you may never have thought.

A: NuVal® provides nutritional guidance that you, our customers, have asked for. While customers appreciate the variety and selection TOPS provides, our research has shown there's a growing demand for a simple, easy way to find the most nutritious foods on our shelves. NuVal® offers nutritional transparency, is backed by solid science and was created independent of food manufacturers, meaning it's a system you can trust. Recently, NuVal® won the endorsement of the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), whose mission is to promote health and curb disease.
Scores are placed throughout TOPS stores so you can decide what your optimal NuVal® score should be in each food category. We see the NuVal® System as an opportunity to do something good for public health in light of the growing rates of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. While these trends are disturbing, the good news is that they are reversible, and NuVal® at TOPS can help.

A: NuVal® is a science-based food nutrition system that was created independent of TOPS or any food manufacturer. A team of recognized nutrition and medical experts from leading universities and health organizations drove the development of the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI™) algorithm, which generates NuVal® scores. Funded by Griffin Hospital, a non-profit community hospital and teaching affiliate of the Yale University School of Medicine, located in Derby, CT, and home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, this team-led by Dr. David Katz‚Äîworked for two years to develop the ONQI™ algorithm.

A: The following nutrients and nutrition factors are used in determining a food's NuVal Score

Nutrients considered to have generally favorable effects on health

  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Total bioflavonoid
  • Total carotenoids
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
Nutrients with generally unfavorable effects on health
  • Saturated fat
  • Trans fat
  • Sodium
  • Sugar
  • Cholesterol
Additional entries
  • Protein quality
  • Fat quality
  • Glycemic load
  • Energy density

A: NuVal® does not reflect special diets, such as low sodium or low fat, and customers looking for specific nutrient levels will still need to review the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP). However, a higher NuVal® Score generally reflects a lower quantity of negative nutrients such as sodium and fat.

A: NuVal® does not give consideration to non-nutrient food additives at this time, such as probiotics or plant sterols, because these items do not add or detract from the nutritional value. Of course, consumers may still benefit from these additives

A: No. Since the nutritional quality of a food does not vary with serving size, the NuVal® System does not offer guidance for portion size. You still need to choose portion sizes of foods appropriate for your daily needs. However, because it factors in properties that influence satiety, foods that score well on the NuVal® System can fill you up on fewer calories, and therefore may be a tool to help consumers consciously manage their own portions.

A: It is our goal at TOPS to have NuVal® scores on as many items as possible. Most departments in select TOPS stores use NuVal® scores, such as produce, cookies, crackers, dairy, meats, seafood, cereal, soft drinks, and frozen foods, and we will soon have scores for items in our Deli and Bakery departments

Scientific Minds Behind NuVal®

There are a lot of great minds behind your NuVal® scores. These experts make up the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and they provide ongoing oversight of the NuVal® System's scoring engine, the ONQITM algorithm and its applications. Comprised of recognized nutrition and medical experts, many of whom played a key role in the initial development of the ONQITM algorithm, the SAB is responsible for making timely adjustments to the algorithm, scientific advancements and changes in food supply conditions. The SAB also helps coordinate and oversee ongoing scientific testing of the ONQITM algorithm and its influence on health outcomes.

Development - The Scientific Expert Panel (SEP):

  • Chair: Dr. David Katz, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Dr. Keith Ayoob, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Dr. Leonard Epstein, University of Buffalo; inventor, Traffic Light Diet
  • Dr. David Jenkins, University of Toronto; inventor, Glycemic Index
  • Dr. Francine Kaufman, UCLA; Former President, American Diabetes Association
  • Dr. Robert Kushner, Northwestern University
  • Dr. Ronald Prior, Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, USDA HNRC
  • Dr. Rebecca Reeves, Past President, American Dietetic Association
  • Dr. Barbara Rolls, Pennsylvania State University
  • Dr. Sachiko St. Jeor, University of Nevada
  • Dr. John Seffrin, President & CEO, American Cancer Society
  • Dr. Walter Willett, Harvard University

Nuval® Presentations > Kids' Meals Ideas >

Get the Complete 411 on NuVal®

TOPS Friendly Markets' commitment to health incorporates a nutrition-based program called the NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System. The NuVal® System is scientifically derived and it will help anyone see, at a glance, the nutritional value of the food they buy because it is located right on shelf tags in TOPS stores! This method scores food on a scale of 1-100. The higher the NuVal® Score, the higher the nutritional quality of the food.

TOPS offers a FREE, comprehensive program on NuVal® to middle and high school students (grades 5-12). This initiative gets students involved in creating a healthier home and school environment.

After your presentation, follow up with a FREE Nutritional Store Tour or the NuVal® Scavenger Hunt. Choose from the following presentation options:

Small In-Class

  • 40-50 minutes long
  • Information on NuVal®
  • Ways to trade up for better health
  • Portion distortion
  • Team work: Nutrition by the numbers game
  • Nutrition Fact vs. Fiction game
  • Ingredient Labels

  • 45 minutes long
  • Information on NuVal®
  • Ways to trade up for better health
  • The exciting "Wheel of NuVal® Nutrition" game
  • Exciting fitness competition
  • Nutrition Fact vs. Fiction game
  • This or That game
Optional Follow-Up
Nutritional Store
Tours (All Ages):
  • 60 minutes long
  • The history on NuVal®, a scoring system to improve your overall health
  • A lesson in nutrition using NuVal®
  • Healthy samples
  • Use NuVal® to trade up for better health
  • Make a healthy treat in the bakery
  • Scouts earn a nutrition badge by completing an in-store tour

Over the past few years, We have reached over 30,000 students and faculty members with free presentations.

Contact me to check when I will be in your area.

Aundrea Baker
TOPS Friendly Markets
Community Outreach Coordinator
Phone: 716-635-5000