Today’s ready-to-eat cereals are more nutritious than ever and are some of the healthiest breakfast options available to consumers. Cereals are typically nutrient-dense, low fat and serve as an important source of whole grains, and deliver nutrition in relatively few calories. In fact, with milk, cereal is the leading source of 10 key nutrients in the diets of American children. Cereal is also a vehicle for milk consumption: more than 40 percent of milk consumed by children is consumed with cereal. According to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, regular cereal eaters tend to have healthier body weights.
Working through the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), America’s leading cereal companies have voluntarily adopted strict advertising criteria so that 100 percent of their ads seen on children’s programming promote healthier diet choices and better-for-you products. Under CFBAI, they have reformulated products to reduce sugars, fats and sodium and to increase positive nutrients. Since 2007, sugar reductions in cereals have ranged from 10 to 25 percent, and today 86 percent of cereals advertised to children contain no more than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
It’s clear that cereal can play an important role in a balanced, healthy diet. To help parents make the best food choices for their families, cereal companies have joined the food and beverage industry writ large in accelerating efforts to provide parents with the products, tools and information they need, including:
· Introducing more than 20,000 new product choices with fewer calories, reduced fat, sodium and sugar, and more whole grains since 2002.
· Pledging to remove 1.5 trillion calories from the food supply by 2015.
· Launching Facts Up Front, a voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labeling system designed to help busy consumers—especially parents—make more informed decisions when they shop.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.
Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.
In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.