Introduction of New Food Products With Voluntary Health- and Nutrition-Related Claims, 1989-2010
This study tracks food products introduced from 1989 to 2010 to better understand the adoption of voluntary health- and nutrition-related claims by companies. New food products introduced with health- and nutrition-related claims accounted for 43.1 percent of all new U.S. food product introductions in 2010, up from 25.2 percent in 2001 and 34.6 percent in 1989. The reduction in health- and nutrition-related claims from 1989 to 2001 followed enactment of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA). The NLEA required most food products to carry the Nutrition Facts label and established labeling rules for the use of voluntary nutrient content and health claims. Overall growth in health- and nutrition-related claims after 2001 reflect increases in low/no calorie, whole grain, high fiber, and low/no sugar claims, along with relatively new claims related to no gluten, no trans fats, antioxidants, and omega-3. This period was characterized by nutrition information and education campaigns targeting obesity. Recent increases in healthand nutrition-related claim use also reflect evolving consumer needs and preferences for foods that promote a healthy lifestyle and disease-fighting capabilities, and new labeling regulations directed at trans fats.
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