The latest food products to come from Canada’s food manufacturers are in line with current healthy eating trends a survey has found.
The Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) conducted a survey and released the results in a report called Our Commitment to Health & Wellness.
Nancy Croitoru, president and CEO of the FCPC, says the report demonstrates that the industry “continues to be committed to a shared vision of a healthy Canada and is doing its part to encourage healthy, active living.”
“Our members continue to increase the range of products that are in line with current guidelines on healthy eating because they contain more vitamins, minerals, whole grains and fibre and reduced levels of calories, sugar, fat and salt,” adds Croitoru.
The survey found that the vast majority of respondents are enhancing nutritional choices for Canadians. In fact, 92 per cent say they have launched (39 per cent) or have reformulated (61 per cent) products to improve health.
Most of the companies (92 per cent) who participated in the survey also say they have offered healthier product choices over the past five years, with 61 per cent saying they have reformulated existing products to be healthier, and 39 per cent having introduced new, healthier products.
In many cases, those healthier products make up more than 50 per cent and sometimes 100 per cent of the company’s total product mix.
The main types of healthy improvements companies made were to:
• Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids (73 per cent reformulated products and 23 per cent introduced new products with this);
• Reduce sodium (65 per cent reformulated products and 35 per cent introduced new products with this);
• Reduce or eliminate saturated fats (65 per cent reformulated with this and 19 per cent introduced new products with this);
• Reduce caloric levels (27 per cent reformulated product with this and 50 per cent introduced new products with this);
• Reduce sugar and carbohydrates (19 per cent reformulated product with this and 38 per cent introduced new products with this);
• Add whole grains (46 per cent reformulated with this and 38 per cent introduced new products with this); and
• Add fibre (40 per cent reformulated products with this and 45 per cent introduced new products with this).
Other results include:
• 73% of respondents have strategies in place to help consumers manage their caloric intake.
• 80% of respondents communicate healthy eating and healthy lifestyle messages to help consumers make sound choices about their diets and lifestyles.
• 77% have product advertisements or marketing programs designed to communicate healthy lifestyle messages.
The vast majority of respondents also provide employee workplace wellness programs, helping their own employees improve their health.
The companies are also helping Canadian consumers by assessing package size, providing more nutrition information on the package, and ensuring that advertising meets the highest level of standards of truth and accuracy.