OMAHA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To help Americans make the food and beverage choices important to healthier living, ConAgra Foods will feature the Smart Choices Program™ logo, a labeling program unveiled at the American Dietetic Association's annual expo, on its products. The Smart Choices Program symbol, to be shown on the front of food packages, identifies more nutritious choices within specific product categories as well as calories per serving and servings per container. ConAgra Foods products, including items such as Healthy Choice® meals, Hunt's® canned tomatoes, and Egg Beaters® liquid eggs, will begin using the symbol winter 2009.
"At a time when consumers need to get more value than ever from their food dollars, we should keep in mind that good nutrition is an important component of value," said Gary Rodkin, ConAgra Foods CEO. "Making healthful choices every day could save Americans, and our country, significant money in the way of reduced healthcare costs related to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions that have proven links to the food and beverage choices we make each day."
The Smart Choices Program was driven by consumer demand for a single, trusted and reliable front-of-pack nutrition labeling program that food manufacturers and retailers could voluntarily adopt to help consumers make more nutritious food and beverage choices that fit within their daily calorie needs.
The Smart Choices Program logo may only be used on products that meet science-based nutrition criteria including:
Nutrients to limit: total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, added sugars and sodium; Nutrients to encourage: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E; and,
Food groups to encourage: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat free dairy. As a supporter of the program, ConAgra Foods will use the Smart Choices Program logo only on its branded products that meet the nutrition criteria. The criteria were derived from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other authoritative nutrition sources. ConAgra Foods anticipates that nearly 300 of its products will bear the new Smart Choices Program logo, including products like its Healthy Choice Asian-Inspired Café Steamers Sweet Sesame Chicken and Egg Beaters with Yolk.
"Since the launch of the Healthy Choice brand 20 years ago, ConAgra Foods has been committed to providing consumers with options that make putting a meal on the table healthful and convenient. By featuring the Smart Choices Program logo on our products, we believe consumers will have an added layer of convenience when they're looking for products that help them meet their health goals," said Patty Packard, MS, RD, ConAgra Foods director of nutrition. "Moreover, at a time when consumers need to get more value than ever from their food dollars, getting good nutrition from their food choices also becomes more important than ever."
Smart Choices Program was developed by a coalition of the nation's leading authorities on food, nutrition and health, including a diverse coalition of scientists, academicians, health and research organizations, food and beverage manufacturers and retailers. The program was developed under the leadership of The Keystone Center, a non-profit organization that specializes in creating consensus solutions to public health problems.
The coalition is dedicated to transparency, making its process and nutrition criteria publicly available. Additionally, the program was designed to be flexible and sustainable – allowing for revisions as new public policy, dietary guidelines and science emerges.
ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE:CAG) is one of North America's leading packaged food companies, serving consumer grocery retailers, as well as restaurants and other foodservice establishments. Popular ConAgra Foods consumer brands include: ACT II, Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Kid Cuisine, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, Peter Pan, PAM, Reddi-wip, Snack Pack, Swiss Miss, Wesson and many others. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.
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