NGA Membership Webinar: Facts Up Front In-Store Marketing Initiative
Thursday, March 6 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) are preparing to launch the multi-million dollar Facts Up Front consumer education campaign in the first quarter of 2014. This national campaign aims to increase consumer awareness, understanding and use of the Facts Up Front icons, leveraging print and digital advertising, public relations, and in-store marketing.
The National Grocers Association (NGA), in partnership with GMA, will be co-hosting an hour long webinar on March 6 at 2:00 PM ET to:
- Brief NGA retail and wholesale members about the Facts Up Front consumer education campaign
- Educate retailers how they can benefit by leveraging available Facts Up Front in-store marketing resources in their existing health & wellness programs
- Drive shopper awareness and understanding of the new labels on national branded and private label items.
Ginny Smith Clemenko, Senior Director, Communications, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)
Elise Fennig, Vice President, Industry Affairs, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)
Brian Lynch, Vice President, Industry Relations, National Grocers Association (NGA)
FACTS UP FRONT BACKGROUND
The Facts Up Front program was launched by FMI and GMA in January 2011 in response to the growing public awareness of health and nutrition issues and to First Lady Michelle Obama’s call to the food industry to help end childhood obesity. It aims to provide consumers – especially busy parents – with the information they need to make informed decisions about the foods they buy. Today the voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labeling system can be seen on the labels and packages of more than 50 manufacturer and retail private label product lines. Visit FactsUpFront.org to learn more.
FDA today proposed to update the nutrition facts label for packaged foods, a move it says will reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease.
FDA said the proposed label also would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes.
Some of the changes to the label FDA proposed would:
- Require information about the amount of added sugars in a food product. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that intake of added sugar is too high in the U.S. population and should be reduced.
- Update serving size requirements to reflect the amounts people currently eat.
- Present “dual column” labels to indicate both”per-serving” and “per-package” calorie and nutrition information for larger packages that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.
- Require the declaration of potassium and vitamin D, nutrients that some in the U.S. population are not getting enough of, which puts them at higher risk for chronic disease. Vitamins A and C would no longer be required on the label, though manufacturers could declare them voluntarily.
- Revise the Daily Values for a variety of nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D. Daily
- While continuing to require Total Fat, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat on the label, Calories from Fat would be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.
- Refresh the format to emphasize certain elements, such as calories, serving sizes and Percent Daily Value.
By revamping the nutrition facts label, FDA wants to make it easier than ever for consumers to make better informed food choices that will support a healthy diet, said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.
To help address obesity, one of the most important public health problems facing our country, the proposed label would drive attention to calories and serving sizes.
The agency is accepting public comment on the proposed changes for 90 days.
PepsiCo has quietly gotten rid of the word “Natural” in some of its products and instead is going with “Simply” due to an influx of frivolous lawsuits.The company changed its “Simply Natural” line of Frito-Lay chips to simply be called “Simply,” although the ingredients remain the same. Similarly, its “Natural Quaker Granola” got a makeover as “Simply Quaker Granola.”
The food and beverage giant says the name changes, which took place last year, are the result of it updating its marketing. But they come at a time when PepsiCo and other companies face legal challenges over their use of the word “natural.”
The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have a definition for what constitutes “natural,” but says it doesn’t object to the word’s use as long as the product doesn’t contain “added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.” Still, a number of lawsuits recently have challenged whether the ingredients in products labeled as “natural” fit that billing.
In some cases, companies are realizing the use of “natural” isn’t worth the headache, said Steve Nograndeur, head shyster for the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, an pedantic organization that has filed lawsuits against numerous companies on the vaguely defined terminology.
Last year, PepsiCo agreed to remove the words “all natural” from its Naked juices after a lawsuit noted the drinks contained artificial ingredients, such as a fiber made by Archer Midland Daniels. Another ongoing lawsuit filed in 2012 has challenged its description of some of its chips as “natural.” And in November, PepsiCo killed off its Gatorade Natural line, saying the drinks didn’t “resonate” with its core consumers.
“We constantly update our marketing and packaging,” said Candace Mueller-Medina, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo’s Quaker brand.
PepsiCo Inc. isn’t alone in retreating from “natural.” The owners of Ben & Jerry’s and Breyers ice cream agreed to change its packaging in 2012 to settle lawsuits over its use of “all natural.” Campbell Soup was sued in 2012 for describing its Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers as natural, with the suit noting they contain genetically modified ingredients. The Camden, N.J.-based company removed the word from its revamped packaging, but said it was the result of marketing changes and declined to comment any further on the change.
The word “simply” isn’t entirely free of controversy either. Although it didn’t file a lawsuit, the Center for Science in the Public Interest met with General Mills in 2010 over labeling on a variety of the company’s products. Among those singled out was “Simply Fruit,” which the group noted contained canola oil and carrot juice – not just fruit.
When asked if it had a response to the CSPI’s complaint that the name was misleading, a General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas said in an email, “Yes, we do have a response: It isn’t.”
America loves Greek yogurt, and not just any Greek yogurt. Chobani is the number one selling Greek yogurt brand in the U.S.
So it came as a bit of a surprise that Whole Foods said on Wednesday that it will be phasing Chobani Greek Yogurt out of its stores in early 2014 to make room for other products.
While part of the decision might be fueled by Whole Foods’ push to phase out foods that use genetically modified ingredients, it’s also about offering more exclusive and organic products.
The split with Chobani is a big deal. The Greek yogurt — available in most supermarkets — is massively popular in the U.S. and makes about $1 billion in annual retail sales.
Whole Foods Market Inc. said Wednesday in a statement that it is committed to offering shoppers the widest variety of high-quality products possible, including items shoppers can’t find anywhere else. And as the national demand for Greek yogurt has grown, the company says the number of conventional Greek yogurt options has multiplied.
“Whole Foods Market challenged its Greek yogurt suppliers to create unique options for shoppers to enjoy – including exclusive flavors, non-GMO options and organic choices,” the company said in a statement. “At this time, Chobani has chosen a different business model.”
Chobani says its products are not organic but use only natural ingredients. The company has come under fire from consumer advocacy groups for using milk that comes from cows fed with GMO animal feed, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Austin-based Whole Foods carries six national brands and a number of regional brands in its stores across the country. Some of those remaining brands sold in stores are not organic and use ingredients from dairy cows fed with GMO-feed. But the company said verification of non-GMO-fed dairy ingredients is a fairly new capability, and it is working to get that on all of its own products.
Replacing Chobani is small yogurt producer Stonyfield’s Greek yogurt line, Brown Cow. Stonyfield, owned by Danone, just started distributing to the grocery chain two weeks ago, reports BuzzFeed.
The switch is part of a growing trend where consumers are making purchasing choices based on information about where their food is coming from.
“This is not anti-GMO, necessarily, this is pro-transparency,” said Stonyfield chairman and co-founder Gary Hirshberg. “This is a mega-trend out there.”
Greek yogurt, known for its thick texture, tart taste and high protein content, has surged in popularity in recent years. It now accounts for more than a third of the U.S. yogurt market, up from just 1 percent in 2007, according to a report by Bernstein Research.
“Though we have limited distribution within Whole Foods, they have been a wonderful partner of ours over the years,” Chobani said in a statement. “We know our fans love buying our products in their stores and we hope to continue our partnership moving forward.”
This setback follows Chobani’s recall earlier this year of some of its Greek yogurt cups due to a mold contamination.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The PLMA show is underway and the attendance has shown it to be a banner year. Private Label Manufacturers from across the country and across the globe have been meeting since Sunday at one of the largest food business events for supermarkets, private brands and big box retails chains.
After speaking with several people from Krogers, Walmart and Allegiance Retail Services, we discovered that many PLMA vendors are implementing a robust data management system to handle their vast amount of packaging artwork files. Some private brands have thousands of files to keep track of and update each year.
The Packaging Vault is one of the most popular systems used by the PLMA 2013 industry and provides buyers from today’s supermarkets, super centers and mass merchandisers the convenience and security to manage all of their artwork.
Developed by brand packaging experts, it can help food and beverage companies to centralize, store and share their packaging design artwork files faster and store them with greater reliability.
We spoke with Craig Bobson, one of the developers of The Packaging Vault today and he reports that they currently service over 45,000 artwork files for 45 brands and are growing rapidly.
He says that The Packaging Vault ensures critical packaging artwork files remain with the Brand. If suppliers change, all current project files remain secure. An intuitive and evolving central administrative panel allows direct control over vendor accounts, artwork and photographic management and provides detailed usage reports for tracking.
With new updates coming each quarter and a mobile app version slated for 2014 release, The Packaging Vault is proving to be a valuable service for all PLMA 2013 member companies.
For more information on the PLMA, visit their site.