Healthier Product Choices

August 30/Washington, D.C./Press Release -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) released the results of its 2010 Health & Wellness Survey that showed that from 2002-2009, food and beverage companies have developed and introduced to the marketplace over 20,000 healthier product choices. These new choices have doubled in just the last three years.

“This data is a reflection of what consumers already know,” said GMA president and CEO, Pamela G. Bailey.  “Food and beverage companies are responding to consumer needs by providing thousands of healthier product choices that make it easier for shoppers to build a healthy diet for them and their families.”  

The 2010 GMA Health & Wellness Survey data was collected and analyzed by Georgetown Economic Services. Some 57 companies, representing approximately half of U.S. food and beverage sales, have shared data for the survey since 2002.

Through the survey, food and beverage companies revealed that they collectively have:
* Eliminated or reduced trans fat in over 10,000 product choices
* Eliminated or reduced saturated fat in over 6,600 product choices
* Reduced sugar/carbohydrates in over 3,700 product choices
* Reduced the calorie content of over 3,500 product choices
* Reduced sodium in over 3,000 product choices  

Additional survey highlights:
* 93% of participant companies are developing, introducing and marketing healthier products
* 91% of participant companies actively promote healthy lifestyles in the marketplace
* 52% of participant companies have created child-specific product sizes
* 49% of participant companies have introduced single-serve packaging (e.g. 100-calorie packs)
* Since 2002 food and beverage companies have spent more than $130 million in nutrition and health-related activities and grants to communities.
* 98% of participant companies have workplace wellness programs for their employees

“GMA and its member companies fully support First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation, and these results show that our industry is committed to helping Americans lead healthier lives. We are providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to construct a healthy diet and lead a more active lifestyle,” concluded Bailey.

From the September 7, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition