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The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has introduced an interactive, user-friendly Web-based consumer tool that supports the “Facts Up Front” nutrition labeling initiative rolled out by GMA and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in 2011.
Facts Up Front moves information from the Nutrition Facts Panel, commonly found on the back of food and beverage products, to the front of packaging, in an easy-to-read format.
“Facts Up Front empowers consumers to make informed choices,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the GMA. “It arms them with critical nutrition information about their favorite products. But to make the most of Facts Up Front, Americans need to understand what that information means, and how it relates to their calorie and nutrient needs. Through this website, we are providing consumers with the knowledge and tools they need to build a healthful diet.”
The interactive site offers such features as a nutrition calculator, an interactive label that explains all of the nutrients featured in Facts Up Front, a nutrition quiz, shopping and meal-planning tips from registered dietitians, and easy recipes.
Additional website resources include a section for health professionals, providing downloadable tools for educating consumers, patients and clients.
Based on science including USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Facts Up Front labeling program was developed in response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s call to the food and beverage industry to help consumers eat more healthfully. Advising the campaign is a panel of external third-party health, nutrition and medical experts.
In related news, the Hershey Co. said it would provide front-of-pack nutrition information for its various confection products. Pennsylvania-based Hershey will begin to roll out the new packaging in the second half of 2013 as part of a plan to evolve the product packaging across its various pack types over the next several years. The company will also update its website to provide consumer-friendly access to nutrition information.
Hershey, along with other members of GMA, FMI and the National Confectioners Association (NCA), is voluntarily implementing the labeling to share nutrition information with consumers.