Kraft continues to improve nutritional profiles
by Eric Schroeder
NORTHFIELD, ILL. — Since 2005, Kraft Foods Inc. has reformulated or launched more than 5,500 products that meet its criteria for an improved nutritional profile. Those efforts, along with other progress made in sustainability, food safety and quality were highlighted in the company’s 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, titled “Creating a More Delicious World.”
“Our goal is to continually grow the number of options in our portfolio that give consumers better choices for healthier and more wholesome foods,” Kraft said in the report. “It’s good for consumers and it’s good for business.”
Kraft said it has stepped up initiatives involving whole grains, fiber, healthier oils and micronutrients.
The company last year announced it would double the amount of whole grains in its Nabisco cracker brands in the United States by 2013. Outside U.S. borders, Kraft increased the number of biscuit and crisp bread products that contain whole grains in the European Union by 50%, and in China the company launched the country’s first whole grain biscuit. Efforts also were strong in Latin America, where Kraft added whole grains to its Trakinas, Belvita, Ceralitas and Club Social biscuits.
To help address malnutrition in developing markets, Kraft has increased its fortification efforts. For example, the company now fortifies its Tiger and Biskuat biscuits sold in Indonesia with nine vitamins and six minerals.
Sodium reduction was another area of focus at Kraft over the past year. The company said it “began to accelerate” its efforts to further reduce sodium in its products “without compromising taste or safety.”
“This is a tough challenge for the entire food industry, but we feel good about our progress,” Kraft said.
In 2010, Kraft said it removed nearly 6.5 million lbs of salt from 340 products in the United States and Canada. The cuts are part of a larger initiative to reduce sodium by an average of 10% by 2012 across the company’s entire portfolio.
Elsewhere, Kraft said it initiated plans last year to reduce sodium by an average of 5% — equal to 0.5 million lbs of salt — across its Latin America biscuit and cheese lines by the end of 2012. In Europe, sodium cuts made in the Dairylea cheese line now have reached 30% since 2002.
Elimination of saturated and trans fats continues at a brisk pace, Kraft said. Since 2008 Kraft has reduced saturated fat in its Prince biscuits line in the E.U. by 54%. The company also has eliminated partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Kraft also has taken action in providing products with less sugar, and in the United States recently reduced the sugar in its Capri Sun juice drinks and introduced sugar-free Jell-O Mousse cups. In Europe, Kraft has reduced the sugar in its Belvita biscuits by approximately 8% during the past four years.