UK firm adopts US whole grain stamp

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Whole grain

Bakels claims to be the first UK company to use the popular US
Whole Grain Stamp, and will launch its new revamped packaging at
the Bakery Industry Exhibition in Birmingham next week.

Company spokesperson Alan Gordon told BakeryAndSnacks.com that Bakels decided to adopt the stamp after research carried out by Leatherhead International suggested sales of products featuring the black and gold logo went up across the Atlantic. "Market research revealed that the stamp boosted sales of a product by 17 per cent in terms of year on year growth, and Leatherhead predicted similar growth rates in theUK,"​ he said. The stamp was first introduced three years ago, by the non-profit organisation the Whole Grains Council (WGC), as a way to help consumers identify whole grain products on retail shelves. The organisation allows any product containing eight grams(g) of grains per serving to feature the stamp. Foods containing 16g per serving can, in addition, be labelled as 100 per cent whole grain. Bakels will initially use the stamp on its new Multi Wholegrain bread, which contains a minimum of 29g of grains per 80g serving, Gordon said. The bakery and ingredients company then hopes to extend the use of the stamp to other grain products from its portfolio, he added. Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for the US WGC, hopes the trend will take off throughout the UK and then in the rest of Europe. "In the first nine months of 2007 alone, bakers worldwide launched more than 500 wholegrain products,"​ she said. "Wholegrain bread is wildly popular, and we want to helpUKbakers benefit from growing consumer interest." ​The WGC was first set up in 2003 to try and encourage US consumers to include more whole grains in their diets by eating whole grain-rich foods such as whole-wheat bread, brown bread and oats. The group's values were strengthened in 2005 when the US government issued its dietary guidelines for the year, which included the advice that Americans should consume upwards of three ounce-equivalents of whole grain products per day. Scientific and medical advice urges consumption of whole-grain foods as they are a rich source of both insoluble and soluble dietary fiber. Soluble fiber has been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and so has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. The WGC this year expects the symbol to appear on over three quarters of a billion food packages in the US and Canada. In total, it is being used by around 180 food manufacturers on more than 1,600 different products, the organisation said.

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