WAL-MART MUSCLES MARKETERS TOWARD LOW-CAL FOODS
Wants New Products to Address National Obesity Concerns
LAWSUIT AGAINST OREO COOKIES DROPPED
Publicity Helped Educate Consumers About Fat, Plaintiff Says
KRAFT LOOKS TO ANSWER CRITICS IN OBESITY DEBATE
Pulls Ad for Oreos; Looks to Fund Public-Education Efforts
The food company in a press release today said it is making sure ad creative "encourage[s] appropriate eating behaviors and active lifestyles." Kraft earlier this year pulled a commercial for Oreo cookies that did not fit with such criteria. In-school marketing efforts, such as poster and product sampling, will be eliminated, and though some products will still be stocked in school vending machines, a new 10-person advisory council will determine which Kraft products may be inappropriate for such venues.
Threat of lawsuits
Kraft, like other fast-food chains and packaged-food manufacturers, is most likely concerned over a growing threat of lawsuits by consumers who are blaming food marketers for their poor health and expanding waistlines. A judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit against McDonald's brought by several obese children, and Kraft recently was the target of a lawsuit, which has since been dropped, that alleged the company was not forthcoming about the type of fat used in its Oreo cookies.
Part of Kraft's new global plan is to include nutrition labeling in all markets worldwide, even in those where it is not required, and to provide added nutrition and/or activity-related information on product labels and company Web sites to assist consumer choices.
Kraft is also looking at reducing single-serving portion sizes based on appropriate calorie content and other health standards and providing greater nutritional alternatives, either with existing products or new ones "where appropriate." The company is expected to implement these changes beginning next year.