Unilever products qualify for Smart Choices Program™
Several Iconic Unilever Brands to Carry New Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labeling Logo Developed by Food Coalition
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 5, 2009– Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, announced today that several of its iconic food and beverage brands have qualified for the Smart Choices Program™, a voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labeling system developed by a diverse coalition of scientists, academicians, health & research organizations, food and beverage manufacturers and retailers to help encourage positive dietary changes.
Qualifying products will carry the Smart Choices Program “check mark” logo and accompanying calorie information to guide consumers in making smarter food and beverage choices within product categories. Labeled Unilever products will be on-shelf across the United States beginning in August.
“We’re excited and proud to be taking a leading role with other industry members in helping to improve public health across the United States,” said John LeBoutillier, Unilever’s senior vice president, Foods U.S. “The power of the Smart Choices Program is its basis in collaborative industry development, built on consensus science and its ongoing ability to be flexible and adaptable as nutrition science evolves.
This new front-of-pack nutrition labeling system aligns with Unilever’s Vitality mission of helping people feel good, look good, and get more out of life and will help consumers quickly identify foods and beverages that fit within their daily calorie needs simply by looking for the ‘check’ on the front of product packages.”
Qualifying products within the Unilever brand portfolio that will feature the Smart Choices Program symbol include: Ragu®, Bertolli®, Hellmann’s®, Country Crock®, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®, Promise®, Skippy®, Lipton®, Wish-Bone®, Breyers®, Slim-Fast®, Knorr®, Brummel & Brown®, Imperial® and Popsicle®.
All products carrying the Smart Choices Program symbol must meet the Program’s strict criteria, which are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including:
§Nutrients to encourage:calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E
§Nutrients to limit:total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, added sugars and sodium
§Food groups to encourage:fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat or fat-free milk products
Unilever will launch an integrated, cross-platform consumer education initiative, “Become Label Conscious,” to promote the Smart Choices Program and highlight its “check mark” logo and accompanying calorie information. The campaign will include traditional trade, print and online advertising; consumer promotions and free-standing-inserts (FSIs) in local news publications; videos featuring leading nutrition, health & wellness expert Joy Bauer; and an educational collaboration with WebMD, the leader in online health information.
“Currently, there is a proliferation of front-of-pack logo programs derived from different criteria,” said Doug Balentine, director of nutrition sciences for Unilever in the Americas. “What distinguishes the Smart Choices Program and helps it cut through the clutter is its transparency and foundation of scientific consensus.
The nutrition criteria, which were developed based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, reports by the Institute of Medicine and other authoritative consensus science, are fully transparent to the public and available on the program website at www.smartchoicesprogram.com With the Smart Choices Program label featured on-pack, we believe that it will assist consumers in making smarter food and beverage choices in store and at home.”
The Smart Choices Program was created to address the need for a single, trusted and reliable front-of-pack nutrition labeling program that could guide consumers’ food and beverage choices and help improve public health. Unilever and several other major food manufacturers will implement the Smart Choices Program with the goal of it becoming the standard for front-of-pack nutrition labeling in the United States and achieving the same ubiquity as the recycling symbol that consumers have come to easily and quickly identify over the years.
For more information, please visit www.smartchoicesprogram.com
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