NORTHFIELD, Ill., Jun 1, 2004 -- Kraft Foods Inc. reported on its progress since announcing its global health and wellness initiatives last July. The company is implementing a wide-ranging program to improve the nutrition profile of its portfolio, adjust its marketing practices and policies, provide consumers with more information to help them make informed food and activity choices, and advocate for constructive public policy changes.
Among Kraft's latest actions are:
Improving product nutrition: To enhance the nutrition profile of its broad portfolio, the company is improving the nutrition of existing products, as well as developing new items that meet consumers' health and wellness needs. In less than one year, the company has reduced the fat content in, and made other changes to, about 200 existing, individual products in North America. While noting that this is only a beginning, Kraft estimates that, on an annualized basis, these changes will eliminate more than 30 billion calories from the 200 reformulated products.
As part of its program to reduce or eliminate trans fat, Kraft has reformulated a number of products to meet the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) per-serving standard for zero grams trans fat, among them Triscuit crackers and Reduced Fat Oreo.
In addition, Kraft has fortified some products to help address nutritional deficiencies in various countries. Since mid-2003, the company has added calcium and iron to certain products.
Over the past year, Kraft has introduced or acquired a number of new products with a health and wellness focus, including Fruit20 flavored waters, Kraft StringUms string cheese made with 2% milk, Balance GoMix energy snack mix, and Kool-Aid Jammers 10 with 10 calories per serving.
Implementing smaller-package initiatives: Kraft plans to implement a new, two-fold approach to smaller packages, rather than a plan to cap portion size of single-serve packages. First, the company is offering a broad range of portion-size choices to meet consumers' varied needs, and second, Kraft will use a new approach to the nutrition labeling on its snacks and beverages packages that contain up to four servings. Specifically, in the U.S., Kraft plans to provide labels that communicate the nutrition content of an entire package, so consumers don't have to "do the math" themselves.
Selected smaller packages outside the U.S., where regulations differ, will also carry enhanced information, including the number of servings and total calories in each package.
Establishing product guidelines for in-school vending machines: The company has developed locally appropriate guidelines for vending distributors to use for Kraft products sold in school vending machines.
Eliminating advertising and promotion in schools: Kraft has eliminated these practices in the U.S. and most parts of the world, and plans to end them everywhere by late 2004.
Enhancing nutrition labels worldwide: Kraft is implementing a program to provide nutrition labeling on all products worldwide, even in markets where it's not legally required. All of the company's U.S. and Canadian products are labeled, and about half of its products sold outside these countries now have nutrition labels.
Reaching out to key stakeholders: Kraft is gaining valuable external perspectives on health and wellness by engaging with key stakeholders, including its Worldwide Health & Wellness Advisory Council and legislative and regulatory officials.
Funding and developing community-based health and wellness programs: Kraft has initiated community-based nutrition and activity programs in a number of markets worldwide. U.S. initiatives include "Triple Play," a five-year, after-school health and wellness program with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America funded by Kraft and the Coca-Cola Company, and "Salsa Sabor y Salud," a healthy lifestyle program for Latino families conducted in partnership with the National Latino Children's Institute.
Supporting public policy changes: Among the policy objectives the company supports are the restoration of physical activity and nutrition education in schools; expansion of well-coordinated, government and professional-sponsored consumer education programs; and additional medical and behavioral research to identify effective solutions.
Kraft Foods markets many of the world's leading food brands, including Kraft cheese, Maxwell House and Jacobs coffees, Nabisco cookies and crackers, Oscar Mayer meats, Philadelphia cream cheese, Post cereals and Milka chocolates, in more than 150 countries.