ARLINGTON, VA — June 2, 2011 — Food Marketing Institute (FMI) commends the new food icon released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an innovative tool offering consumers helpful information about healthy eating.

"The new USDA food graphic offers Americans a clear visual of a healthy plate," says FMI President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie G. Sarasin, "representing the full spectrum of nutritious foods we all need in our diets. As FMI member companies seek to feed families and enrich lives, this new icon will serve supermarket shoppers as a vivid reminder of what to put in their shopping carts so that it will later become part of a well-balanced plate."

FMI members – the supermarket and grocery stores in every community – are concerned for the health and well-being of their customers and constantly seek ways to provide shoppers with helpful nutrition information. According to data published in FMI's U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2011, two-thirds of American food shoppers acknowledge that their diets could be healthier.

The USDA food icon seeks a more direct visual connection with the viewer’s actual home dining experience by using a plate format to feature five food groups that are vital to a healthy diet—fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. FMI looks forward to working with USDA in the development and implementation of consumer information programs that utilize the plate icon as a strong graphic base.