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chew on this

Is the Food Industry Stealing a March on Feds?

Posted by Dale Buss on January 26, 2011 05:45 PM

American food and beverage manufacturers and retailers finally launched their new system for front-of-package nutritional labeling this week, declaring with political point-scoring in mind that it all had to do with prompting by First Lady Michelle Obama and her anti-obesity initiative.

But the reality is more complicated:

• The industry doesn’t like the system favored by Mrs. Obama and the Food & Drug Administration, which is still devising its own new “voluntary” standards for nutritional labeling – and so the group launched a scheme that the feds won’t completely endorse.

• While crediting Mrs. Obama’s efforts from the bully pulpit, some manufacturers already were using essentially the same system they have now settled upon — even before the First Lady embraced the childhood-obesity platform and urged them to change their labels.Continue reading...

health matters

US Food Manufacturers' New Labels Disappoint Michelle Obama

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 26, 2011 05:00 PM

When the First Lady of the United States commits to an issue, she commits. And no issue has been closer to Michelle Obama's heart than childhood obesity.

Her desire to use her clout to spur nutrition prompted the First Lady to give a speech last March, in which she urged food manufacturers to create labels for their products that would help consumers do a better job of choosing the right foods.

In May, she announced Let's Move, a national anti-obesity campaign targeting children. In September, she urged the restaurant industry to step up. And last week, Mrs. Obama joined Wal-Mart corporate execs to launch the brand's healthy eating initiative.

Now the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute have worked together to answer Mrs. Obama's call, but the new labels they're introducing, dubbed Nutrition Keys, leave a lot to be desired, meeting with only "tepid" approval from the First Lady — and thus the White House and the Federal government.Continue reading...

truth in packaging

Just In Time For Flu Season, Kellogg Claims Its Cereals Boost Kids' Immunity

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 3, 2009 12:27 PM

"Opportunity" is right there, representing the "O," in any SWOT analysis. But sometimes, marketers mistake that "O" for "Opportunist." Such may be the case with Kellogg.

As the nation goes berserker from worries of H1N1 flu, a.k.a. swine flu, Kellogg started putting messaging on their cereal box packages claiming "Now helps support your child's IMMUNITY." That this messaging was on brands such as Cocoa Krispies raised eyebrows.

Coincidence? Maybe. Kellogg spokeswoman Susanne Norwitz protested, "It was not created to capitalize on the current H1N1 flu situation," claiming the marketing line was planned a year ago (probably true).Continue reading...

truth in packaging

FDA Questions Wisdom Of “Smart Choices”

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 26, 2009 05:59 PM

Maybe eating those Cocoa Puffs isn’t so smart after all.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration announced it’s taking a closer look at the Smart Choices program, which qualifies products based on a set of nutritional data. Today, the food industry group behind the program – which includes major brands and brand families from Unilever to ConAgra – announced it will no longer encourage the use of its logo, featuring a green checkmark, on food packaging. (The logo will still be in use voluntarily, however, by brands including Kraft Foods.)

Last month, the New York Times revealed that the 500 "Smart Choices" included mayonnaise, Fudgsicle bars, and enough sugary cereals to power an elementary school playground. Nutritionists were outraged. Consumers, having to decipher yet another piece of information on a food package, were likely confused (which was, arguably, the program's intention).Continue reading...

Around The Web: Good For You Edition

Posted by Stephanie Startz on September 25, 2009 06:38 PM

Organizations are distancing themselves from the food industry's Smart Choices campaign to label Coco Puffs and mayo as good for you.  [Consumerist]

Rumors are circulating that Chrysler Group will promote the Ram to a full brand. [Edmunds]

Environmental groups and Kimberly Clark reach a compromise over post-recycled content in toilet paper. [BrandFreak]

Yahoo brands Flickr. Hipsters freak out. [TechCrunch]

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