Unilever announced that it is a “likely implementer” of The Smart Choices Program, a voluntary front-of-pack food-labeling system comprised of a diverse coalition of scientists, academicians, health organizations, food and beverage manufacturers and retailers.
The Smart Choices Program initiative is being led by the Keystone Center’s Food and Nutrition Roundtable. Unilever is joined by other major companies as likely implementers and supporters of this new program.
“Unilever is proud to be playing a major role in this coalition-based, front-of-pack food labeling initiative to help consumers make healthier food and beverage choices, and we commend The Keystone Roundtable for what it has accomplished to date,” said Amanda Sourry, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Foods, Unilever U.S. “As one of the leading food manufacturers and a company whose mission is to deliver ‘Vitality’ by helping people look good, feel good and get more out of life, we have a strong interest and commitment globally to doing so through improved nutrition, and helping consumers make ‘better-for-you’ choices.”
Unilever has played a very active role on the Keystone Food and Nutrition Roundtable, bringing to the table its experience with front-of-pack logo (FOP) programs under its “Eat Smart/Drink Smart” initiative in the U.S. and globally with the Choices Programme. The company joined the Keystone Roundtable in 2007 to be part of a discussion focused on the steady development of science-based strategies for better nutrition via a broad-based, diverse forum with influential thought leaders in the nutrition world.
“We hope that the Smart Choices Program, which follows the same driving principles as the Choices Programme, becomes the standard for FOP nutritional labeling in the United States,” added Sourry. “The end goal is that it will have a positive impact on the nutrition and eating habits of Americans, which could then benefit diet-related health.”
For the companies that voluntarily participate, the Smart Choices Program will replace current systems in the U.S., such as Unilever’s Eat Smart/Drink Smart Program, to create a single and reliable front-of-pack nutrition labeling program. The Smart Choices Program is anticipated to begin appearing on packages in mid-2009.