Baking & Snack - June 2016 - 16
FDA reverses course on 'healthy' labeling
Kind, LLC is again free to use the term "healthy" on its packaging.
The announcement came a little more than a year after the New Yorkbased maker of snack bars was told to stop using the term on its packaging by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"At Kind, healthy has always been more than just a word on a label,
so when we were asked to remove the term from our wrappers, it cut
to the core of who we are," said Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of
Kind. "While we're pleased FDA affirmed that Kind can put healthy
back on our wrappers, just as we had it before, it doesn't change what
always has been and will remain our focus - to create delicious snacks
made with wholesome ingredients."
The labeling dispute initially came to the forefront last spring, when
FDA in a March 17, 2015, warning letter addressed to Kind told the
company at least four of its Kind bars were in violation of labeling rules.
FDA in the May 10, 1994, issue of the Federal Register published
a final rule on using "healthy" as a nutrient content claim in labeling.
In regard to fat, FDA mandated that the term "healthy" only may be
used as a nutrient content claim to describe foods, with the exception
of fish and meat that contain 3 g or less total fat per serving and 1 g or
less saturated fat per serving. Fish and meat were required to have 5
g or less total fat per serving and 2 g or less saturated fat per serving.
Kind said it initially responded to FDA's letter by removing the
word "healthy" from the four wrappers, but the company maintained
that its usage wasn't a nutrient content claim and sought to learn more
about FDA's regulation.
In examining the regulation, Kind said it learned that it precludes
foods generally considered to be good for you - like nuts, avocados
and salmon - from being labeled as healthy. However, it allows items
like fat-free chocolate pudding, some sugary cereals and low-fat toast-
er pastries to carry the healthy designation.
Kind helped move the conversation on labeling along in December
2015 when it filed a citizen petition. The petition urged FDA to update
its requirements related to the term healthy to emphasize the importance of eating real foods and nutrient-dense ingredients as part of
healthy eating patterns.
Following receipt of the closeout letter, FDA said Kind requested
confirmation that it could use the phrase "healthy and tasty" only in
text clearly presented as its corporate philosophy, where it isn't represented as a nutrient content claim, and does not appear on the same
display panel as nutrient content claims or nutrition information.
FDA said it understood Kind's position as wanting to use "healthy and
tasty" as part of its corporate philosophy, as opposed to using "healthy"
in the context of a nutrient content claim. Because FDA evaluates the
label as a whole, the agency said it does not object to Kind's use of the
term in this manner.
- Eric Schroeder, Milling & Baking News
Bimbo restructuring into new phase
The restructuring of US Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV, Mexico City, is
entering a new phase that should extend recent momentum of improving profitability, a top executive of the company said. In the wake
of a strong earnings gain at Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU), Horsham
Township, PA, in the first quarter ended March 31, Fred Penny, president of BBU, said the company's supply chain was ripe with opportunities for heightened efficiency.
"Relative to profitability, it was a good quarter," Mr. Penny said.
"We benefited from commodity favorability, but we also benefited significantly from our productivity efforts. And I believe we're going to
continue to benefit from our productivity efforts. We have a lot more
work to do to drive cost out of our business that is going to help us
improve our profitability over time, going forward."
Asked to elaborate on these productivity efforts, Mr. Penny drew
a distinction between initiatives of the last few years, which included
numerous plant closings, and what will transpire in the years ahead.
"If you think about us in terms of the last four years of work since
the Sara Lee acquisition, we've had major restructuring work, in-
16 Baking & Snack June 2016 / www.bakingandsnack.com
cluding significant bakery closures, which was just mentioned, some
new builds, significant work around integrating the route systems of
the two legacy companies, and that was literally thousands and thousands of routes that were restructured, and a net reduction of routes
when it was all said and done," he explained. "So, I think about that
as a restructuring integration period. And as we came out of that in
2015, we're now moving into what I refer to as organizational effectiveness and efficiency timeframe. We still have a lot of productivity
opportunity across our entire supply chain, which we're going to get
at through bakeries running better, routes running more efficiently,
lower return rates, etc.
"But we have a lot of opportunity, in my view, to continue to drive
costs out of the system and become a much more productive company. And that's what all of our associates have been focused on, and
we're seeing evidence of it come through in our first-quarter results,
and we saw evidence of that work coming through as we exited 2015.
And I expect that to continue. But it's different work."
- Josh Sosland, Milling & Baking News
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