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Feds’ Food Campaign To Focus On “% Daily Value”

Health Canada and Canada’s biggest food industry association will spearhead a new campaign to educate consumers on the use of prepared foods’ “Nutrition Facts” tables.

The federal Health Department and Toronto-based Food and Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) said Oct. 22 they will roll out a multi-media Nutrition Facts Education Campaign to focus on “increasing Canadians’ understanding of the Nutrition Facts table,” and in particular its data on “% Daily Value.”

The campaign is to include a “multi-faceted” approach to explain % Daily Value to consumers, through messaging to appear on food packages, in stores and in national-level print, TV and online media, directing Canadians to Health Canada’s educational website.

The campaign “provides information to Canadians in a variety of ways to help them when choosing a food or deciding between products,” FCPC president Nancy Croitoru said in the government’s release.

“Using the % Daily Value is a quick way for consumers to know if a packaged food contains a little or a lot of a nutrient.”

Almost three dozen major food companies doing business in Canada have also agreed to provide financial and in-kind contributions to the campaign, although the federal government didn’t provide a total dollar figure for the campaign’s budget.

In a separate release Oct. 22, Kellogg Canada CEO Carol Stewart hailed the move as “another step in our ongoing journey to further strengthen our commitment to improving the nutrition literacy of Canadians” and named itself as one of the campaign’s backers.

Starting now and continuing through 2011, consumers will see a “% Daily Value” icon on Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran and Just Right cereals, which “represents over 200 million impressions of the % Daily Value icon that will reach Canadian households through Kellogg Canada alone,” the company said.

PepsiCo Canada also said it would put a “% Daily Value” icon and messages on over 27 million packages of products including Pepsi, Tropicana, Quaker Ready to Eat Cereal, Lay’s, Baked! Lay’s and SunChips, starting in late 2010 and going into 2011.

Pledging the company’s support to the campaign in a release Marc Guay, president of PepsiCo Foods Canada, called it an education initiative that “enhances the consumer’s understanding of % Daily Value.”

“Within the beverage division, it was important for us to start with our flagship brands – Pepsi and Tropicana – as a demonstration of our commitment to educate on a large scale,” PepsiCo Beverages Canada president Linda Kuga Pikulin said in the same release.

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