Heinz is dropping its own 5-a-day scheme in advance of the Department of Health issuing new guidelines on the use of the government’s official logo on processed foods.
The brand manufacturer said it decided to drop its logo as having the two schemes in the marketplace would confuse consumers.
The DoH guidelines for manufactured foods, currently out for consultation, will be published later this year and will place stringent limits on fat, sugar and salt in receipes.
“We don’t want to have our own 5-a-day system which conflicts with the one from the Department of Health,” said Heinz corporate affairs general manager Michael Mullen.
The DoH What Counts working group has said that products which exceed its suggested thresholds do not
count towards a daily target consumption of five portions of fruit and vegetables. For example, a tin of sweetened peaches will no longer count as a portion of fruit. The Food and Drink Federation has slammed the decision (The Grocer, January 24 p6).
Mullen said many of Heinz’s tinned products would fail to meet the new targets. “It’s very difficult for a canned manufacturer to fit with the new guidelines,” he said. “We think the proposals may send mixed messages to consumers since many familiar foods that have previously counted will no longer contribute. We are therefore removing 5-a-day immediately so consumers are not confused.”
Heinz, like many other manufacturers and retailers, set up its own 5-a-day scheme two years ago while it was waiting for the original DoH proposals to come through.
Heinz currently uses the logo, developed in conjunction with the British Dietetic Association, on some 50 varieties, including Baked Beans, Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce and Cream of Tomato Soup.
It will be phased out as labels are replaced across the range over the next few months, said Mullen.
Anne Bruce