News Release
 February 27, 2004
CONTACT: Stefanie Zakowicz

Carb Friendly focuses on education, convenience and support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Stefanie Zakowicz February 23, 2004 716.625.7936

Tops Introduces New Program for Carb-Controlled Dieters Carb Friendly focuses on education, convenience and support

Williamsville, NY  With nearly 59 million Americans (The Valen Group) seeking out and eating carb-controlled foods, everyone from hotels to restaurants to grocery stores are jumping on the low-carb bandwagon.

Consider this: 65% of Americans are overweight and looking for a new, healthier lifestyle. That is where Tops Markets enters the picture. Tops provides customers with carb-controlled foods supported by tools to make educated, personal eating choices. Tops' Carb Friendly program is designed to help consumers eating a reduced-carbohydrate diet for both medical and weight management reasons. To give customers flexibility based on the exact diet or stage of a diet they may be following, Tops' program indicates products within a range of net carbohydrates for greater flexibility.

Carb Friendly gives customers the means to easily locate products for carb-controlled diets. While Tops does not endorse any specific diet programs or products, we do want to provide shoppers with options they may be seeking, stated Stefanie Zakowicz, Tops' spokesperson. "Our program is dedicated to convenience, education and support, so that customers can rely on Tops as their source for health and wellness products and information."

Tops introduces Carb Friendly program When customers enter a Tops supermarket to do their weekly shopping, the first thing they will notice is the new Carb Friendly signs helping to identify foods with 0 - 15 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus dietary fiber). These signs assist customers in finding both sections and individual products that are lower in carbohydrates.

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Once the consumer has located a product, they simply review the nutritional label to ensure it meets their individual eating preferences. Our program gives customers the latitude to identify and select products that meet personal taste, nutrition, and disease management criteria.

Customers will also find specially marked areas throughout the store featuring carb-controlled items, such as in health and beauty care, deli, and diet sections.

But the program goes further, including components such as: · A listing of "Carb Friendly" products · Special instore product sampling · A website full of additional resources · "Carb Friendly" recipes · Specially marked "Carb Friendly" displays

Many of the products we carry are naturally low in carbohydrates. This gives customers a broad base for carb-controlled eating, which we have supplemented with a variety of other targeted product lines, Zakowicz added. Many of the foods are displayed on special racks together, but others are found in store locations that make the most sense for customer convenience. For instance, reduced-carb breads are found in the deli, a department that carb-controlled shoppers seek out for high-protein meats. This offers them greater convenience, and reminds them that it is possible to have a sandwich, if they so choose.

Soon customers will have a handy reference tool available, a "Carb Friendly" product list to guide them to carb-controlled products throughout the store. Instore product sampling will also provide customers with a preview of many of the new carb-controlled offerings, so they can determine the products they prefer. - more -

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It's not just an in-store experience The program isn't limited to the in-store experience either. Customers can simply visit the Tops website at where they will find an entire Carb Friendly section. While Tops doesn't recommend any specific weight loss program, weight-conscious consumers have access to information on different diets ranging from Atkins to Ornish to South Beach. Customers can also find "Carb Friendly" recipes, carb resources, and a shopping list for Carb Friendly products.

"We believe we've taken a well-rounded approach to the low-carb phenomenon and want to help customers graduate from weight management to lifestyle management behaviors," Zakowicz continued. "Our program is informative, comprehensive and very positive toward carbohydrates," she concluded.

Further information on the Tops "Carb Friendly" program can be found at any Tops location or by visiting Tops's website at Tops Markets, LLC is one of six retail operating companies under Ahold USA, one of the leading supermarket operations in the U.S. Tops currently operates 160 Tops Friendly Markets, 204 convenience stores under the Wilson Farms, Sugarcreek and Tops Xpress banners in New York, Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio. This and other recent news releases can be found on Tops website at

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Note: Different diets address lower carbohydrate intake. FDA has not defined what constitutes a "low carb" product. Package labeling contains a variety of claims and representations such as net carbs, impact carbs, and effective carbs. This is often confusing for consumers to understand exactly what they are eating and how it will impact their eating strategy.


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