NUTRITIONAL UPDATE – MAY 2014 (vol. 2)

Wild Card hosts its first ‘Breakfast With’

2014 has already proved to be both an exciting and challenging year with regards to food, drink and health. As the healthy eating, obesity and public health discussions continue, so too does the spread of media commentary.

To help navigate this new media approach to nutrition and health reporting, Wild Card held a breakfast event with This Morning’s Dr. Chris Steele on Wednesday 14th May 2014, with clients and key people within the food industry.

The event created plenty of factual discussions as well as lively debate. Key topics that Dr. Steele covered included the rise of ‘diabesity’ and the role that fat, sugar and poor exercise levels contribute towards this ticking time bomb. Dr. Steele also provided a fascinating insight into how health and research fits into This Morning and how PRs and brands can work with the show.

We are hoping that our ‘Breakfast With’ event will become a regular feature in our Wild Card calendar, so do get in touch if you would like to attend our next one

No Junk Campaign Launched By Organix

Leading baby and toddler food company Organix commissioned a survey of over 700 mums, where parents’ thoughts on the nutritional make up of leading children’s food and drink brands where obtained.

The survey results marked the launch of Organix’s ‘No Junk Campaign’ in light of the fact that the survey highlighted widespread suspicion among mothers about the honesty of marketing claims, with many ‘shocked’ at the salt, sugar and fat levels and use of artificial additives in food and drinks aimed at kids.

Organix’s MD went on to say that, “the lack of transparent labelling and the complexity of labels are leading to a terrible lack of trust in the industry”.

However, director of communications at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) highlighted that the new EU Food Information to Consumers Regulation, which comes into force imminently, will provide all consumers with unrivalled consistency and clarity in on-pack labelling.

Indeed, this new EU FIC will have massive ramifications for the food industry with the majority of food and drink products now having to provide back of pack nutritional labelling by December 2014 or December 2016 if products currently don’t provide any nutritional information.

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Coeliac UK’s Gluten Free Guarantee

Coeliac UK is the oldest and largest coeliac disease charity in the world, with a membership of over 60,000, and have been working for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) since 1968.

During their Awareness Week between 12th -18th May, they are pushing their ‘Gluten-Free Guarantee’, where they are encouraging supermarkets to commit to a core range of eight gluten-free products that you can find in all the major supermarkets.

After consultations with Coeliac UK members, health care professionals and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Coeliac UK confirmed the eight core items would be:

  • Fresh white bread
  • Fresh brown bread
  • Bread Rolls
  • Breakfast Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Flour
  • Crackers
  • Cereal bars

Such initiatives are not just of benefit to the coeliac community but also to the growing number of consumers who are choosing to buy gluten-free for a perceived healthier and positive lifestyle choice. Indeed, recent Kantar statistics show that the free-from market is now worth approximately £359.4million.

If such schemes get pick up from these supermarkets then this puts these eight core items at the centre of the gluten-free movement.

Compass Group’s ‘Know Your Food’ Initiative

Compass Group is the global market leader in providing food and a range of support services to customers in the workplace, schools and colleges, hospitals, the leisure industry as well as remote environments.

In May 2012, Compass launched ‘Know Your Food’ as a multi-platform initiative aimed at educating individuals on healthy eating as well as promoting Fairtrade Projects and seasonable promotions.

Through ‘Know Your Food’, Compass has introduced a number of nutritional initiatives including:

  1. The removal of all artificial trans-fat from its food
  2. A switch from butter to Flora Buttery, removing almost 100,000 tonnes of saturated fat from thousands of their recipes.
  3. Redesigned salt sachets, helping to cut eight tonnes of salt from its supply chain
  4. The introduction of 1% fat milk as the standard milk
  5. Continual nutritional analysis of over 30,000 recipes
  6. Roll out of nutritional labelling to over 1,800 Compass sites across its sectors

The emphasis and investment of these types of programmes within hugely influential organisations highlights that health is sitting right at the top of the agenda across all food companies, no matter their sector.

Action On Sugar Pulls In A Major Retailer

We have known for a while about Tesco’s drive to make a considered effort at cutting back the sugar levels within their own label soft drink range, when they launched their 10 point action plan back in November 2013.

They have now joined forces with the slightly controversial Action on Sugar in an attempt to encourage sugar reduction across the kids’ soft drinks sector by February 2015.

Indeed, this is a major breakthrough for Action on Sugar as despite mass media coverage, they have had little association with brands or retailers.

It would seem other big companies are taking this seriously too with both Co-op and ASDA wishing to make inroads in reducing the sugar content of their soft-drink products.

These movements create a feeling that some companies are looking for bigger actions than they are currently getting through following the Government’s Responsibility Deal pledges. It is likely that this has been driven by the huge mass media coverage that sugar has received and the knowledge that many consumers have this nutrient on their black list.

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