WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today announced that "Facts Up Front" will serve as the theme for the consumer education campaign in support of the food and beverage industry's fact-based front-of-pack nutrition labeling system that was launched in January as Nutrition Keys.
Facts Up Front is a nutrient-based labeling system that summarizes important nutrition information from the Nutrition Facts Panel in a simple and easy to use format on the front of food and beverage packages. Facts Up Front is designed to help busy consumers – especially parents – make informed decisions when they shop.
"The food and beverage industry is committed to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve and maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle," said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. "Through our $50 million comprehensive, multi-faceted consumer education campaign, we will bring the Facts Up Front program alive for consumers and help them understand and use this important new tool."
Participating food and beverage companies will place the icons on the front of products that highlight nutrition information – calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar per serving – in a clear, easy to understand format. Facts Up Front also provides consumers with valuable information about "nutrients to encourage," the nutrients essential for a balanced diet, as well as those currently under-consumed by most Americans.
"The food retail industry is committed to feeding families and enriching lives by providing customers with the information they need to make healthy choices," said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute. "The Facts Up Front icons move key nutritional information into full view, helping busy shoppers more easily make the most informed dietary decision they can for their families."
The GMA and FMI Boards of Directors – which together represent more than 80 percent of packaged food and beverage sales in the U.S. – unanimously endorsed the Facts Up Front initiative in January. In addition, they also committed to a consumer education campaign to build consumer awareness, understanding and use of the icons.
The number of products carrying the Facts Up Front icons in the marketplace continues to grow based on seasonality and production and distribution schedules. The Facts Up Front consumer education campaign will launch in early 2012, as consumers will see the new icons on a majority of products in the marketplace.
As part of today's announcement, GMA and FMI are launching a new Facts Up Front web site. It can be accessed at www.factsupfront.org.
Facts Up Front was developed in response to First Lady Michelle Obama's request that the food and beverage industry enhance its efforts to help consumers construct a healthy diet for themselves and their families. The program is advised by a diverse panel of external third-party experts from health, nutrition and medical backgrounds.
Through Facts Up Front, and many other innovative nutrition labeling programs in the marketplace, consumers have access to more nutrition information about what's in their food than ever before – on packages, in stores and online.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) 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. To learn more, visit www.gmaonline.org.
Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies - food retailers and wholesalers - in the United States and around the world. FMI's U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores and 14,000 pharmacies. Their combined annual sales volume of $680 billion represents three-quarters of all retail food store sales in the United States. FMI's retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. Its international membership includes 200 companies from more than 50 countries. FMI's associate members include the supplier partners of its retail and wholesale members.
SOURCE Grocery Manufacturers Association