SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - EuropeUS edition | Asian edition

Headlines > Science & Nutrition

From the 20th International Congress of Nutrition in Granada, Spain

Unilever: Healthier food choices must be ‘doable’

By Shane Starling+

24-Sep-2013
Last updated the 27-Sep-2013 at 01:32 GMT

Zevenbergen:
Zevenbergen: "...foods and alcohol and tobacco are completely different things so I don't think we should even think about treating them in the same way."
Loading...

The food industry came under attack last week at the International Congress of Nutrition (#ICN20) for not doing enough to improve the healthiness of its portfolios…unfairly, says Unilever.

The Dutch-Anglo food giant’s cross-category nutrition and health director, Hans Zevenbergen, said the industry’s biggest food players were doing as much as they could to improve their offerings, and deserved a seat at the table of nutritional betterment.

As the call for tobacco-like food industry marketing restrictions rises in some quarters, Zevenbergen said: “The food companies have a responsibility – that is absolutely clear. On the other hand the food companies are providing foods that people want and it is our role to do that and gradually, where we can, improve that. I don’t think it is fair necessarily or even helpful, just to point fingers and say, ‘you created the problem’.”

“I think the responsible company offers a whole selection and is moving in a good direction and together with others should do that more and more but …there is a role for people themselves, for governments, for scientists to educate and promote healthier foods but in such a way that it is doable and feasible for people.”

He said there was no need to restrict food marketing in the way tobacco or alcohol advertising has been banned or curtailed in many countries. "I say foods and alcohol and tobacco are entirely different things so I don't think we should even think about treating them in the same way."

Survey

Should 'big food' be sponsoring important nutrition conferences like #ICN20 when major food and drink players are active marketers of unhealthy foods?
     
     
     
'People don't break windows': Second Glass boss on US Wine Riots

'People don't throw chairs and break windows': Second Glass boss on starting US Wine Riots

Dubbed the 'Prince of Boston's Wine Revolution' by Stuff magazine, Second Glass founder Tyler...

Bread innovation needed amid carb, additive backlash: Mintel

Additives and carb backlash stumps bread innovation, says Mintel

Stephanie Pauk and Pam Yates

Analysts, Mintel

Drinks manufacturers play a key role in sugar reduction

Drinks manufacturers must reduce sugars: PHE

Drinks manufacturers must work to reduce the amount of sugars in their products to...

Sainsbury's listings at 19, sports drinks at 24: Overly comes of age

Sainsbury's listings at 19, a sports drink launch at 24: Overly entrepreneur on guessing Justin King's email and casting off wide-eyed innocence

Young entrepreneur Chris Hannaway and childhood friend Will Hammersley launched frozen yogurt brand Arctic...

Mooted novel food changes will open exotic fruit doors in EU

Mooted novel food changes will open exotic fruit doors in EU

Dr John Wilkinson

Consultant and EU Novel Foods expert

DrinkPreneur Live 2014: OOb takes Tesco prize in final shootout

DrinkPreneur Live 2014: OOb takes Tesco prize in final shootout

Green-tea based drinks brand OOb took first prize at the inaugural DrinkPreneur event in...

Candy innovation: Miniature, flavors but little on health, Euromonitor

Sweet innovation? Candy makers are sticking to what they know, says Euromonitor

For the most part, confectioners have continued to innovate in known areas like flavor,...

Supermarkets told to take risks with ready meals

Own-label ready meals lack innovation, Bingham and Jones

Retailers need to be bolder with their own-label ready meals and stop relying on...

Cocoa flavanol health claim milk drinks 'could soon be on the market': Barry Callebaut

Cocoa flavanol health claim milk drinks 'could soon be on the market': Barry Callebaut

Ieme Blondeel

Product and Process Development Engineer, Barry Callebaut

Tesco soft drinks buyer warns brands PowerPoint can be painful

'PowerPoint can be painful!’ Tesco soft drinks buyer warns entrepreneurs

The head of Tesco’s soft drinks buying team David Beardmore has urged aspiring brands...

Taste genetics: A new way to look at policy and segment consumers?

Taste genetics: A new way to look at policy and segment consumers?

Can new research in to the genetic basis of taste could help manufacturers and...

Delicious disasters: Marketing expert warns manufacturers on 'disruptive innovation' and learning from mistakes

Delicious disasters: Marketing expert warns manufacturers on 'disruptive innovation' and learning from mistakes

Everybody is chasing innovation and the next big idea, but when it comes to...

Global ID: 'Demand for Non-GMO-Project verification doubled after Whole Foods put its GMO cards on the table...'

Global ID: 'Demand for Non-GMO-Project verification doubled after Whole Foods put its GMO cards on the table...'

The growth of the Non-GMO Project verification scheme has been nothing short of explosive...

Merging industries: Top chefs and the food companies can learn a lot from each other, says chef

Merging industries: Top chefs and the food companies can learn a lot from each other, says chef

While there are some differences between high end catering and the large scale manufacturing...

Breakfast cereal decline: Mintel talks opportunities, challenges

Crunch time: Is breakfast cereal doomed to sink?

The global breakfast cereal market faces increasing competition as consumers turn to convenient alternatives,...

Fortified foods vs naturally healthy: IFIC says consumers like both

Fortified foods vs naturally functional: Consumers consider both ‘worthwhile’, says IFIC

Consumers are open to fortified foods just as much as those that contain naturally...

Gluten-free fueled by food skepticism & fad diets: Packaged Facts

Gluten-free: A ‘perfect storm’ fueled by food skepticism and fad diets

Processed food skepticism and fad dieting played a big part in the gluten-free boom,...