WASHINGTON, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today unveiled its national consumer education campaign to bolster awareness and understanding of Facts Up Front. The nutrient-based labeling system will be supported by a national advertising campaign to further educate consumers on the initiative and help them make informed food decisions for their families.
Facts Up Front labels bring important information from the Nutrition Facts Panel, found on the back and side of packages, and displays it in a simple and easy-to-use format on the front of America's favorite food and beverage products.
"A recent literature review by the FDA tells us that front-of-package labels are most effective when reinforced by an education program," said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. "With more than 50 companies voluntarily implementing Facts Up Front on their branded and private label products, it's important for shoppers to know this tool is out there and that they understand how to use it. With Facts Up Front, we're simplifying nutrition so everyone has the essential information needed to help build more healthful diets."
According to a recent online survey, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of GMA, more than nine in 10 grocery shopping decision makers agree that Facts Up Front makes nutrition information easy to find and use (93%), and that it is simple to understand (92%). The education campaign will reach more consumers to build awareness of the label and help enhance their nutrition knowledge and ability to use Facts Up Front most effectively. Facts Up Front advertising can be seen now across a variety of print and digital media through October 2014.
FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin remarked, "Our research tells us that more than two-thirds of shoppers read food labels, looking for information related to sodium content, sugar, fat and calories. Food retailers listen to their customers and the Facts Up Front Program gives these shoppers the information they're looking for in a convenient, easily accessible format."
To complement the advertising efforts, the campaign also includes an online toolkit to help retailers communicate Facts Up Front in stores – the place where most purchase decisions are made. All print, digital and in-store communications direct consumers to the Facts Up Front website (www.FactsUpFront.org), available in both English and Spanish and optimized for mobile devices. FactsUpFront.org provides tools and resources that give visitors relevant nutrition information, including a Nutrition Calculator to determine specific calorie and nutrient needs, and also an Interactive Label that explains the nutrients featured in Facts Up Front, how they impact health and common sources of each.
"The tools and information the Facts Up Front program provides can help parents build better diets for themselves and their families, while also teaching children behaviors they will carry on with them for a lifetime," said Robert Murray, MD, former chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on School Health and a professor in the Department of Human Nutrition at the Ohio State University. "Parents need to set the stage for their children, so that they have the chance to live long, healthy lives free of weight issues and preventable chronic diseases."
The basic Facts Up Front label lists calories and information about saturated fat, sodium and sugar per serving – nutrients the government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting. Additionally, manufacturers may also include information on one or two nutrients to encourage – potassium, fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium and iron.
Facts Up Front was developed in response to First Lady Michelle Obama's call on the food and beverage industry to provide new tools for helping Americans construct a healthier diet. Today, numerous manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers are voluntarily implementing Facts Up Front on their branded and private label products.
Facts Up Front is advised by a diverse advisory panel of external third-party experts from health, nutrition and medical backgrounds. It is grounded in sound science and research on consumer messaging about nutrition, including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and has been designed to be flexible to accommodate changes to federal guidelines and regulations, including the Nutrition Facts panel.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe. Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders. In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.
Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI's U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit www.fmi.org and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org.
This survey was conducted online within the United States between February 3 and 5, 2014 among 2,035 adults aged 18 and older by Harris Poll on behalf of GMA via its Quick Query omnibus product. Data reported is among a subset of adults who are grocery shopping decision makers (n=1,740). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, the words "margin of error" are avoided as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the online panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About Nielsen & The Harris Poll
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll. Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
SOURCE Grocery Manufacturers Association