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From 2002 to 2009, food and beverage companies have developed and introduced to the marketplace more than 20,000 healthier product choices, according to a new study from Washington D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).
In fact, according to GMA’s 2010 Health & Wellness Survey, these new food choices have doubled in just the last three years. “This data is a reflection of what consumers already know,” said GMA president and CEO, Pamela G. Bailey. “Food and beverage companies are responding to consumer needs by providing thousands of healthier product choices that make it easier for shoppers to build a healthy diet for them and their families.”
The study data was collected and analyzed by Georgetown Economic Services. Fifty-seven companies, representing approximately half of U.S. food and beverage sales, have shared data for the survey since 2002.
Through the Survey, food and beverage companies revealed that they collectively have:
· Eliminated or reduced trans fat in over 10,000 product choices
· Eliminated or reduced saturated fat in over 6,600 product choices
· Reduced sugar/carbohydrates in over 3,700 product choices
· Reduced the calorie content of over 3,500 product choices
· Reduced sodium in over 3,000 product choices
Additional survey highlights:
· 93 percent of participant companies are developing, introducing, and marketing healthier products
· 91 percent of participant companies actively promote healthy lifestyles in the marketplace
· 52 percent of participant companies have created child-specific product sizes
· 49 percent of participant companies have introduced single-serve packaging (e.g. 100-calorie packs)
· Since 2002 food and beverage companies have spent more than $130 million in nutrition and health-related activities and grants to communities.
· 98 percent of participant companies have workplace wellness programs for their employees
“GMA and its member companies fully support First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation, and these results show that our industry is committed to helping Americans lead healthier lives,” added Bailey. “We are providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to construct a healthy diet and lead a more active lifestyle.”
GMA represents more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies.