Monday March 4, 2013
Sandler Encourages Front Of Pack Labeling
Miami — Responsibility regarding obesity and sustainability were the themes of Debra Sandler’s speech to attendees of the NCA’s State of the Industry Conference in Miami this past week. Sandler is president of Mars Chocolate North America.
“It has become clear that the confectionery industry is going to have to demonstrate who we are and what we stand for through our actions as a whole. We must balance our ambitions with two very important principles that are near and dear to our hearts at Mars: responsibility and mutuality.”
As consumers redefine their relationship with food and look at their health more closely and holistically, she said the food industry is adapting too — but not always in a positive way.
“Unfortunately the solutions our consumers are being offered create even more dilemmas — varying labeling and food claims, different approaches and unclear marketing that serves more to confuse than educate,” Sandler said.
Instead of making completely new, “healthy” options, the industry must modify existing product portfolios by including front-of-pack labeling or making products in bite-size pieces.
“Embrace the NCA style guide, put clear calorie labeling on the front of all your packs, and give your consumers the right to choose. Don't give regulators the chance to take that choice away,” she said.
The second industry “responsibility” she touched on was sustainability, complimenting companies who already have programs in place.
Sandler said: “As good stewards of our category, we have an obligation to promote mutual benefits — for our customers, our suppliers, our communities and our environment. Sustainability is not only a fundamental component of a successful business model, it's another crucial area upon which our industry is judged.”