Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 12, 2013 03:38 PM
Danone, Unilever and Nestlé top the list in the first edition of the global Access to Nutrition Index as the three best global brands offering products that address obesity and poor nutrition.
The report reviews 25 of the world's major food and beverage manufacturers across corporate nutrition-related policies, formulation of healthier, affordable products, informative nutrition labeling and responsible marketing.
"Obesity and undernutrition affect billions of people and threaten a global health catastrophe,” said Inge Kauer, Executive Director of ATNI. “The Access to Nutrition Index is an urgent call to action for food and beverage manufacturers to integrate improved nutrition into their business strategies.”
The Index, developed by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, a non-profit with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, ranked the top 10:Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 16, 2013 08:46 PM
Following the US TV debut of its anti-obesity campaign on cable news networks Monday night, Coca-Cola revealed its new anti-obesity commercial in primetime broadcast TV, with the "Be OK" 30-second commercial (watch below) debuting on FOX's American Idol Wednesday evening and shared on Twitter. According to the Associated Press, this latest commercial will also run before the Super Bowl on CBS.
The spot aims to debunk notions that a can of Coke is high-calorie, with the message that one can of Coke "= 140 happy calories to spend on extra happy activities: 25 minutes of letting your dog be your GPS + 10 minutes of letting your body do the talking [shown over dancing] + 75 seconds of laughing out loud + 1 victory dance. Coca-Cola: 140 calories."Continue reading...
truth in packaging
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2012 05:00 PM
Kellogg's Kashi brand has just introduced two new USDA Certified organic cereals, touting that it's using real organic fruit and whole grains in the wake of its Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) flap earlier this year. "We've always believed that nature makes the best-tasting ingredients, like the hearty whole grains and luscious organic fruit you can see and taste in our Berry Fruitful and Blackberry Hills cereals," states Keegan Sheridan, natural food and lifestyle expert at Kashi, in a press release.
Each serving of Berry Fruitful provides 6g of fiber and 46g of whole grains, nearly 100% of the recommended daily value, while Blackberry Hills offers 3g of fiber and 16g of whole grains per serving – and like all Kashi foods, both are free of preservatives, artificial flavors, colors and high fructose corn syrup. Equally important, both cereals carry the official Non-GMO Project Verified seal. But that still won't convince its GMO foes to re-embrace the brand.
Kashi doesn't broadcast the fact that it's owned by Kellogg, nor that it has used GMOs, because it's trying to be perceived as an independent brand to win a bigger share of the natural and organic food category, which grew 9.5% in 2011 to $31.5 billion in US sales. The brand's still recovering from being engulfed in a social media firestorm back in April, when a New England store boycotted it after discovering "that 100% of the soy used in Kashi products is genetically modified, and that when the USDA tested the grains used there were found to be pesticides that are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors."
Kashi's Keegan Sheridan defended the company's GMO usage with a YouTube video, but it's still getting flack from consumers opposed to GMOs on its Facebook page, as you can see at top.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2012 05:17 PM
McDonald's continues to look less and less like a food-police "Most Wanted" corporation with a rap sheet to match its notoriety. Instead, the global fast-food leader keeps adding to its shift toward better-for-you fare and toward making healthier food not only accessible to its customers but palatable as well — even including the health of its own employees.
Today, McDonald's USA announced a number of nutrition initiatives, including the news it's adding calorie counts on restaurant and drive-through menus nationwide starting Monday and introducing menu items next year in line with the latest obesity-targeting federal dietary guidelines.
"We recognize customers want to know more about the nutrition content of the food and beverages they order," McDonald's USA president Jan Fields stated in a press release. As the Associated Press notes, "The move comes ahead of a regulation that could require major chains to post the information as early as next year. 'We want to voluntarily do this,' Fields told AP. 'We believe it will help educate customers.'"Continue reading...
long arm of the law
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 03:07 PM
According to an announcement by the U.S. Justice Department, "Global health care giant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) agreed to plead guilty and to pay $3 billion to resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from the company’s unlawful promotion of certain prescription drugs, its failure to report certain safety data, and its civil liability for alleged false price reporting practices, the Justice Department announced today. The resolution is the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history and the largest payment ever by a drug company."
"Today’s multi-billion dollar settlement is unprecedented in both size and scope. It underscores this Administration’s firm commitment to protecting the American people and holding accountable those who commit health care fraud," stated U.S. Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole at a press conference today on the settlement. "Health care fraud is an epidemic that touches every aspect of our lives. And yet, for far too long, we have heard that the pharmaceutical industry views these settlements merely as the cost of doing business. That is why this Administration is committed to using every available tool to defeat health care fraud," added his colleague, Acting Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery.
GSK stated that the charges stem from a "different era" for the company, and its corporate mission now centers on "putting patients first, acting transparently, respecting people inside and outside the organisation and displaying integrity in everything we do."Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on June 1, 2012 11:55 AM
As American consumers have shifted more and more to purchasing better-for-you foods, many mainstream brands have been happy to exploit the use of the term "natural" as a generally effective positioning tactic. The reason they find it so useful is that regulators don't force them to define "natural," unlike the term "organic," which is specifically defined by the U.S. Agriculture Department.
So one of the "natural" products out there is Tropicana's "100% pure Florida orange juice." But a growing number of lawsuits have taken exception to the PepsiCo unit's use of that term because, they allege, Tropicana adds chemically engineered "flavor packs" to its juice so it tastes consistently sweet and the same year-round. The suit-bringers got together this week in court to figure out how to proceed.
Tropicana has declined to comment but said in a statement that it remains committed to ful compliance with labeling laws and to producing "great-tasting 100-percent orange juice."
Other brands, including PepsiCo's Tostitos and SunChips, and Snapple, and even Ben & Jerry's, have faced attacks over how they exploit the vague terms "natural" and "all-natural."Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Dale Buss on May 18, 2012 02:51 PM
POM Wonderful can (and does) take credit for introducing Americans to pomegranate as a beverage. But as competitors came into the segment and created their own pomegranate beverages, Pom Wonderful's grip began to slip — especially as the FTC started clamping down on POM's "super health powers!" advertising claims.
The beverage-maker was sued by the FTC in 2010 and it has remained under the watchful eye of the feds, who are cracking down on health-related promises by marketers (ask Skechers about their $40 million pay-back to customers).
And in its latest legal twist, this week, POM wasn't able to get a U.S. District Court judge in California to agree with its stance against a tough competitor, Coca-Cola.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on October 20, 2011 11:02 AM
The ante keeps rising for CPG brands as they develop and market new products to which they apply a "natural" or "all-natural" label. So it's no wonder that brand stewards continue to be frustrated by the fact that no one really knows what "natural" foods are. And in the absence of federal regulatory attention to the question, increasingly it's being addressed in the courts.
The industry has been pushing the feds to nail down some definitions for "natural" foods for a long time. They have seen how a regulatory imprimatur can boost consumer perceptions of better-for-you products. For instance, American consumers tend to attribute far more benefits to "organic" foods than actually exist, according to recent research by Cornell University, because of a halo effect from the nomenclature -- which no doubt in turn is enhanced by the fact that there are exhaustive USDA standards that must be met by organic foods.
PepsiCo is one major maker of mainstream products that has been shifting its portfolio to "better-for-you" fare over time, and its executives clearly recognize the importance of the "natural" designation. Frito-Lay has Lay's and Tostitos products that are "All-Natural," for instance, and baked varieties and SunChips that are positioned as natural.
"Of all the health attributes, 'all-natural' has the highest amount of interest of anything, including 'low-fat,' 'low-carb' and 'high-protein,'" Michelle Adams, PepsiCo's vice president of shopper insight, told brandchannel. "It is by far top of mind with [consumers]. All-natural is definitely important, especially to the younger set."Continue reading...