CPG, Stop Acting Like Children

Articles
July 13, 2010

CPG, Stop Acting Like Children

Just what we need – more passive-resistant behaviors by food and beverage manufacturers about the foods and beverages they want to market to children.

Just what we need – more passive-resistant behaviors by food and beverage manufacturers about the foods and beverages they want to market to children. On one hand, the Grocery Manufacturers Association talks about how the industry has changed the recipes of more than 10,000 products overall to reduce calories, sugar, sodium and fat. On the other hand, there’s virtually no mention of the long road the industry has to travel to get to a truly desirable healthful point in the formulation of packaged foods, or how many of those 10,000 products are aimed at kids.

Take this latest delay in drafting voluntary guidelines, for instance. These were supposed to be available for open comment and presented to Congress by July 15, 2010, according to The Wall Street Journal.  But they haven’t even been publicized yet to create the open dialogue that manufacturers apparently don’t relish.

Rather than whine about how some major cereal brands wouldn’t qualify to be advertised to children under new voluntary standards that have yet to be agreed upon or made final, The Lempert Report urges manufacturers to get in their test kitchens and create the responsible reformulations that will reverse our self-induced problem of childhood obesity, which will undoubtedly bring with it unnecessary illnesses, discomfort and health care costs.

The delay makes us suspect that voluntary standards are on the way to becoming less demanding on manufacturers than they need to be in order to meaningfully support Michelle Obama’s campaign for better health of our up-and-coming generations. Let’s not have such short memories here: When Froot Loops qualified for a Smart Choices label, that program was done.

The last thing we need is a set of toothless standards that have little credibility with moms and dads trying to keep their kids away from unnecessary temptations. Why should manufacturers go kicking and screaming like little children when they can burnish their brand images by acting as responsible leaders? No more delays, please. This is about your kids and grandkids too.