How are market-leading kids’ cereal firms tackling health claims?

 Breaking News
  • UK Supermarkets are Struggling to Grow The latest grocery market share figures, published by Kantar, show year-on-year supermarket sales were flat during the 12 weeks to 11 August 2019 as the tough comparisons with 2018’s strong summer continue. The memory of last year still looms large for retailers and this summer’s comparatively poor weather, combined with low levels of like-for-like price [...]...
  • Tickets Still Available For 2019 Irish Food & Drink Business Awards Some tickets are still available for the 2019 Irish Food & Drink Business Awards presentation ceremony and gala dinner to be held at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin on the evening of Thursday, 5 September 2019. The winners of the 2019 Awards will be named at the event. The prestigious awards programme, which was first introduced [...]...
  • Nestlé UK Launches New On-trend Flavours Nestlé has introduced two new on-trend flavours to its much-loved Munchies brand in the UK and Ireland. Available in 101g sharing bags, new Munchies Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Munchies Cookie Dough are the first new Munchies products since 1996. The new flavours were created at Nestlé’s confectionery sites in York and Fawdon, Newcastle. Munchies Brand Manager [...]...
  • Dedicated Industry Forums Take on Packaging’s Hottest Topics Experts from major brands, such as Coca-Cola, Ella’s Kitchen and REN Clean Skincare, will take to the stage as part of the dedicated industry forums for the beauty, food and drink sectors at Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London 2019. The show, which returns to Olympia on 11 & 12 September, will tackle the key subjects [...]...
  • Greene King Being Sold For £2.7 Billion CK Asset, which is one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong and an international investment group, has made a recommended £2.7 billion cash offer for Greene King, the UK’s leading integrated brewer and pub retailer operating over 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland. Including debt, the enterprise value of [...]...

How are market-leading kids’ cereal firms tackling health claims?

April 23
14:39 2013

Use of health and nutrition claims on kids’ cereal is widespread, but manufacturers are using them with caution and the majority favor nutrient content claims.

Kellogg, General Mills, Weetabix and others have a great number of fortified kids’ cereals on shelf.

But on-pack nutrient content claims like ‘good source of’ or ‘high in’ feature more heavily than explicit health claims linking ingredients to diseases and health conditions.

Kellogg, General Mills and Weetabix

Kellogg’s cereal portfolio targeting children is littered with nutrient content claims. A ‘good source of vitamin D’ features heavily across its portfolio – on Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops and Honey Smacks. A ‘good source of fiber’ also features on Corn Pops and Frosted Mini Wheats.

The Kellogg Company faced class action lawsuits totting up over $10m on its use of a structure/function claim on its Frosted Mini-Wheats and Rice Krispies, both back in 2010.

The company claimed that consumption of its Frosted Mini-Wheats was ‘clinically shown to improve children’s attentiveness by nearly 20%’ and that Rice Krispies ‘now helps support your child’s immunity’.

General Mills does however continue to make its health claim on its use of ‘cholesterol lowering’ oats in Cheerios. It can make this claim because of the FDA approved claim on soluble fiber from certain foods linked to the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

However, General Mills too has been hit by enforcement. In 2010 it received an FDA warning letter because its claims stated ‘you can lower your cholesterol by 4% in 6 weeks’.

Weetabix previously made a ‘slow release energy’ claim on its flagship product due to the iron content in the cereal. But it has since removed this and changed to a strap ‘fuel for your day’ after a pounding last year from the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). The agency said the claim was misleading because it was only relevant when consumed with milk.

‘Market leaders don’t need health claims’

Commenting on the market trends, food law attorney Jonathan Emord said that ironically market leaders are comfortable with not having any health claims on pack. “Market leaders have the dynamic of being in a market leader position. They don’t need health claims,” he said.

He said it is the “little guys” and mid-sized firms that could benefit from the ability to make health claims without fear. The marketplace would be more diverse with new entrants and healthier products if so, he added.

Emord said a preference for nutrient content claims was prompted by a fear factor and economies. This shy away from using qualified health claims on pack, he said, is to avoid being at odds with primary regulators. He added that the consumer marketplace also suits nutrient content claims because the mere reference of a popular ingredient is sufficient to call to mind health notions.

Market leaders are taking advantage of this, he said. “Using clever phraseology that can tie into health information is the choice.”

No shift away, just caution

Martin J. Hahn, partner in the Food and Agriculture Group at Hogan Lovells, disagreed that companies are shifting away from qualified claims. He said there is just caution and consideration when using them.

“New emphasis on litigation is causing companies to look more critically at health and nutrient content claims to confirm they comply with all technical requirements.”

Hahn said it is increased scrutiny from state and federal regulators as well as class action lawyers prompting cereal makers to take up a more conservative position.

“I also have heard anecdotal reports the health claims are too complicated and clunky and considered ineffective at strong communications while a nutrient content claim or a structure/function claim can be tighter, shorter, and more powerful,” Hahn said.

About Author



Related Articles

Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • September 11, 2019Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging London 2019
  • October 1, 2019PPMA Total Show
  • October 17, 2019Future Food-Tech
  • November 18, 2019Plastics Caps and Closures Conference 2019
AEC v1.0.4

Jobs: Food Packaging

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here