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    GMA, FMI Place ‘Facts Up Front’

    Theme chosen for front-of-pack labeling program consumer education campaign

    The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) have revealed that “Facts Up Front” will serve as the theme for the consumer education campaign backing the food and beverage industry’s front-of-pack nutrition labeling system that rolled out this past January as Nutrition Keys. The campaign is scheduled to launch in early 2012, but GMA and FMI have already jointly introduced a Facts Up Front website at www.factsupfront.org.

    Facts Up Front summarizes key nutrition information from the Nutrition Facts Panel on the front of food and beverage packages. The labels aim to help busy consumers make better nutrition decisions while shopping.

    “The food and beverage industry is committed to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve and maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle,” noted Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of Washington-based GMA. “Through our $50 million comprehensive, multi-faceted consumer education campaign, we will bring the Facts Up Front program alive for consumers and help them understand and use this important new tool.”

    Participating food and beverage companies will place the icons on the front of products to highlight nutrition information, including calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar per serving, in an easy-to-understand format. Facts Up Front additionally provides consumers with information on “nutrients to encourage,” those that are essential for a balanced diet, along with those that most Americans don’t get enough of.

    “The food retail industry is committed to feeding families and enriching lives by providing customers with the information they need to make healthy choices,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “The Facts Up Front icons move key nutritional information into full view, helping busy shoppers more easily make the most informed dietary decision they can for their families.”

    Developed in response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s request that the food and beverage industry improve efforts to help consumers eat more healthfully, Facts Up Front is advised by a diverse panel of external third-party health, nutrition and medical experts. The GMA and FMI boards of directors, which combined represent more than 80 percent of packaged food and beverage sales in the United States, unanimously endorsed the initiative in January. The number of items bearing Facts Up Front icons in the marketplace continues to rise according to seasonality and production and distribution schedules, according to the trade groups.
     

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