Front-of-pack Nutrition Label Effort Launched

January 25/Washington/just-food global news -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in the U.S. have launched a front-of-pack nutrition labelling system called Nutrition Keys.

The groups said that the voluntary system was developed to help consumers make informed choices and the development represents the "most significant modernization of food labels since the Nutrition Labelling and Education Act of 1990."

The Nutrition Keys program will include calories, saturated fat, sodium and total sugars content on the front of packages. They said the icon will inform consumers about how the key nutrients in each product fit into a "balanced and healthy diet as part of the federal government's daily dietary advice."

The scheme was created in response to a request from First Lady Michelle Obama.

"We share First Lady Michelle Obama's goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation," said Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of the GMA. "Food and beverage companies have a strong track record of providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and this program represents a significant milestone in our ongoing effort to help consumers construct a healthy diet."

The Campbell Soup Co. also announced its support of the scheme.

"We believe it is essential to help consumers make informed food choices," said Campbell president and CEO Doug Conant. "The new Nutrition Keys icons will make it easier for people to understand important information about what they are eating as they strive to maintain a healthier diet. Campbell is pleased to support the launch of this effort both through labelling and consumer education efforts together with other food and beverage manufacturers and retailers."

From the February 7, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition