2005 was the year Kellogg and Nestlé drew the battle lines over health credentials in cereals, launching on-pack GDA nutrition details to help consumers make better-informed choices

Last year became the year when the battle lines over health credentials were drawn in the breakfast cereal market, with two of the major manufacturers introducing Guideline Daily Amounts information on their packs.
In a bid to appease criticism from the health lobby and help consumers make better-informed choices, Kellogg became the first
cereal manufacturer to display GDA details with an on-pack GDA counter on its cereal packs at the beginning of the year.
The counter, which rolled out to all boxes of Kellogg’s cereals in January 2005, shows how much a 30g bowl of cereal, without milk, contributes to the government’s GDA for calories, fat, saturated fat, salt, total sugars, fibre, calcium and iron. Kellogg also introduced a new ‘Eat healthy, keep active, get the balance right’ panel on the back of its kids’ cereals to encourage children to eat a balanced diet and take exercise.
Hot on its rival’s heels, Nestlé introduced GDA labelling on its packs in June but, in contrast to Kellogg, opted for showing percentages and amounts as figures rather than the bar chart format used by Kellogg, a move which some thought might spark confusion among consumers because of the lack of consistency in GDA labelling.
While the two companies agree that GDA labelling is the way ahead, Kellogg insists it hit the spot with its GDA format.
“The GDA counter we have adopted has proved engaging as well as the clearest and most accurate way of providing consumers with the information they want,” says UK sales director Jim McNeill.
”Furthermore, research carried out by the Food Standards Agency has shown that when used to compare products, colour-coded Guideline Daily Amounts labelling performed best, particularly when consumers were asked to compare the nutritional content of two products.”
The activity has largely gone down well with other players, including Quaker, which says the labelling changes have reinforced the positive benefits of breakfast.