An Omega-3 enriched St Ivel Gold spread will contain the same long chain fish oil as St Ivel Advance milk but will be sold on an entirely different health platform.
Drummond Hall, chief executive of Dairy Crest, said that while a brain health message had been used to promote St Ivel Advance, a heart health message would be used for the new spread, due to be launched in January.
Hall said: “The heart health proposition is more meaningful to spread consumers. It’s well understood in the category.”
Dairy Crest is backing the launch with a £4m campaign, including TV and press ads in the first quarter of next year, with new packaging in line with the company’s recent changes across its entire St Ivel Gold range.
The Joint Health Claims Initiative, which evaluates food health claims, has approved the use of heart health claims for Omega-3, but has not yet done so for claims relating to its effect on cognitive function.
But Hall hit out at critics who complained that such claims for St Ivel Advance by Dairy Crest had not been proven.
He admitted there was less evidence that Omega-3 benefited the brain than there was that it benefited the heart, but added: “Evidence is emerging all the time. We’ve been through a stringent process internally to verify these claims.
“We’ve also got the backing of Professor Robert Winston, a very strong endorsement.”
Richard Clarke