The Gold Emblem Abound line includes more than 40 items with such ingredients as chia, baobab and probiotic cultures.


WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Following similar announcements from Target, Wal-Mart and 7-Eleven, CVS/pharmacy joins a growing number of retailers pledging to offer healthier snacks.

The drug store chain is launching in more than 7,6000 locations nationwide its Gold Emblem Abound line of better-for-you products, including snack bars, trail mixes, dried fruit, popcorn and rice chips.  Each of the more than 40 items is free of artificial flavors and preservatives and contains no trans fats. Gluten-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free products are included, in addition to products that contain sources of protein, fiber, omega-3s, potassium, and probiotic cultures.

CVS/pharmacy said its goal with the Gold Emblem Abound brand is to enable consumers to buy snacks with nutritional benefits at affordable price points. The probiotic trail mix, for example, contains raisins coated in probiotic yogurt, almonds and walnuts, dried cranberries and cherries. Products also include chia and berry snack bars, baked rice thins with sea salt, cranberry oat bran cookies, and superfruit baobab bites, made with pomegranate, raspberry, baobab and other fruit juices. Prices range from $2.19 to $10.99.

In addition to the new product line, CVS/pharmacy is introducing Fit Choices, an in-store tagging program focused around four categories: heart-healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, and organic. Store items that meet nutritional guidelines will be marked on-shelf. Products with an “organic” tag, for example, contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients and include a U.S.D.A. Organic seal on the packaging. Items marked as “heart healthy” are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

The initiative complements the chain’s previously announced plan to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores beginning this fall. But the move also matches similar efforts from other national retailers.

In April, Target announced plans to launch its Made to Matter program, promoting products from 17 leading natural, organic and sustainable brands; and Wal-Mart unveiled a partnership with Wild Oats to offer organic items that are at least 25% less expensive than national organic brands.

Additionally, last September, 7-Eleven launched a healthy snack section at participating stores nationwide stocked with products featuring ingredients such as dry roasted edamame, organic trail mix, veggie chips and a variety of dried fruit and nut blends.