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    Everything in Moderation

    Hershey's is launching one of the latest center store initiatives to better inform folks about what they're eating

    The more the food industry is blamed for making the nation fat, the more it seems the industry’s critics are just not paying attention.

    In more than a decade as a food industry journalist, I have observed a food industry that has increasingly gone out of its way to better inform the public about what it’s eating and offer choices for nearly every dietary demand. That’s right, choices – not bans, not tasteless substitutions, but choices for an informed public seeking a balance of good nutrition and occasional indulgence.

    And they’re helping that public become even more informed. A CPG mainstay of center store is launching one of the latest initiatives.

    The Hershey Co. has announced plans to provide front-of-pack nutrition information to make it simple and easy for consumers to make choices about the role of confections in their lifestyle.

    Hershey will begin to roll out front-of-pack nutrition information in the second half of 2013 and will evolve its product packaging across its varied pack types over the next several years. Hershey also will be updating its website to provide consumer-friendly access to nutrition information.

    Hershey notes its multifaceted commitment to well-being: a range of choices through a variety of portioned products; outreach programs and events that offer tips and experiences to enjoy the goodness of a balanced lifestyle; and simple nutrition information on products and additional information accessible through its corporate website.

    Hershey, along with other GMA, FMI and NCA member companies, are voluntarily implementing front-of-pack labeling to share nutrition information, like the Facts Up Front program in the United States and a complementary system in Mexico.

     In addition to front-of-pack labeling, Hershey offers balanced recipes and tips to enjoy a lifestyle of well-being through Moderation Nation, and supports family and school nutrition and activity programs through our membership in the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation; sponsors Hershey’s Track & Field Games, the largest youth activity program of its kind in North America, for the past 36 years; participates in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), voluntarily committing not to advertise to children under age 12; and focuses on product innovation to deliver great-tasting products that meet consumers’ lifestyle interests.

    Last year, Hershey’s launched Simple Pleasures chocolates with 30 percent less fat than the average of the leading milk chocolates. I sampled these great-tasting candies at last year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo, and I’m looking forward to the newest releases from Hershey’s and other companies at this year’s show next month in Chicago.

    Grocers looking to enhance their center store experience would do well to partner with their CPG suppliers on initiatives to better educate shoppers on how they can achieve balance through good health, great taste and a little indulgence to boot.

    PG’s Editors’ Picks

    CPG companies, be sure to enter your latest products in PG’s Editors’ Picks contest. Entries are being accepted now. New this year are separate contests for food and nonfood products. More information about the contest is on our website.

    Jim Dudlicek is editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer.

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