General Mills to Implement New ‘Smart Choices’ Front-of-Pack Labeling Program
Company plans to place symbol on qualifying products in 2009
General Mills announced today that it plans to implement the new “Smart Choices” symbol on qualifying products, including cereals, yogurt, snacks, vegetables, and soup , beginning in 2009.
“We believe that a single, credible system that is recognizable and uniform across categories will benefit consumers,” said Susan Crockett, RD, Vice President of General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, and a member of the Smart Choices Plenary. “The new Smart Choices initiative harmonizes and unifies various competing approaches, reducing potential confusion and making it easier for consumers to identify healthy food choices and compare calorie and serving information at-a-glance.”
Smart Choices is a front-of-pack labeling initiative developed by a cross-section of food, health and nutrition thought leaders based on the Dietary Guidelines and the Food Guide Pyramid. To qualify for the Smart Choices symbol, products must meet science-based nutrition criteria derived from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Having supported the initiative from the beginning, General Mills participated in today’s announcement by signing on as a “likely implementer,” and announcing plans to implement the new symbol on qualifying products. Consumers will begin seeing the symbol on packaging from participating food companies in 2009.
“General Mills is committed to helping consumers identify nutrition and calorie information,” said Crockett. “We see Smart Choices as helpful, and we are hopeful it will quickly be accepted across the industry.”
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