Breakfast cereal giant chooses labeling scheme

Kellogg's, maker of Special K, Froot Loops and Rice Krispies, will feature "Nutrition at a Glance" banners on its cereal products starting in October in a bid to better provide information to consumers. The banners will feature information about calorie, fat, sugar and sodium content and are similar to the Guideline Dietary Amount (GDA) labels introduced in the United Kingdom and France in the past two years. The introduction of the GDA scheme in the UK caused controversy as it was seen as a snub of the traffic-light labeling system recommended by the UK Food Standards Agency.

The Kellogg's scheme will state whether cereals contain more than 10 per cent of an adult's recommended daily allowance of fibre, magnesium, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, C or E. The ?Nutrition at a Glance' banners are based on the US Department of Agriculture's 2,000-calories-a-day diet for adults.

The labeling initiative follows Kellogg's recent announcement to improve the nutritional quality of its products. It committed to providing standard food servings with:

  • No more than 200 calories
  • No more than 230 milligrams of sodium, except for Eggo frozen waffles
  • No trans fat
  • No more than two grams of saturated fat
  • No more than 12 grams of sugar, excluding fruit, dairy and vegetables.

Kellogg's said that if reduced-sugar versions did not pass taste tests, it would stop marketing them to children under 12. "Kellogg has a long history, more than 100 years, of being a health-conscious company and providing good nutrition," a spokesperson said. "The new packaging, all of this, is just a natural next step for the company."

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