Prepared Foods February 14, 2005 enewsletter

Nestle will completely overhaul the packaging on its products in the U.K. to help guide consumers in their understanding of nutritional content and provide them with more easy-to-understand information on associated product benefits.

"Consumers have told us that they care about their health and that they want clearer, easy-to-understand information about the content and, where appropriate, the nutritional benefits of our products. The changes we are making will meet those needs," said Alastair Sykes, chairman and CEO of Nestle U.K.

This major initiative will be rolled out across the product portfolio in the U.K., which includes pasta, coffee, confectionery, yogurts and cereals, and will include major brands like KitKat, Shredded Wheat, Fitnesse, Ski and Carnation.

The company is to start the roll out of its new labeling initiative immediately. Packs with the new labeling will be on shelf in the U.K. as early as April of this year.

The new labeling will include:

On the front of the pack:

- Calories per serving, important for overall weight management and diet;

On the back of the pack/side of the pack:

- GDAs [guideline daily amounts] of calories and fat per serving, as recommended by the Institute of Grocery Distribution;

- nutritional information per serving and per 100g;

- facts relating to specific ingredients contained within the product and their nutritional benefits; and

- how a serving of the product can play its part in a balanced diet, where relevant.

Alastair Sykes explains, "This innovative labeling initiative will be rolled out across the whole of the U.K. product portfolio to help guide and encourage consumers in making healthier choices every day.

"Our long-term focus is on improving the nutritional qualities of our existing products and on launching new great-tasting, healthier products that people can easily integrate into their diets. At the same time, we want to ensure that our consumers have all the information they need in a clear and concise format. Our product-reformulation programs and our labeling changes will go a long way toward that goal."

Nestle U.K. has also accelerated its product reformulation program by extending its salt, sugar and fat reduction programs across its product portfolio. This has included the removal of TFAs from confectionery and cereal products, salt and sugar reduction in cereals and salt reduction in soups and sauces.

Shifting consumer interests mean a greater demand for healthier food that tastes good. According to Neslte, the company has launched a number of new products to meet those needs including Sveltesse, a reduced-fat line of yogurts and cereal bars, Half Caff Nescafe and Maggi -- A Natural Choice, a specialist range of culinary aids which help deliver tastier and healthier results to chefs.