Major food companies shun DoH scheme

Food companies Heinz and Unilever Bestfoods have both snubbed the Government’s “Five a Day” initiative, which aims to encourage consumers to eat more fruit and vegetables. The Department of Health unveiled its campaign logo, which uses the strapline “Just eat more (fruit & veg)”, this week.

The only major manufacturers which have applied to use the logo are Birds Eye Wall’s – an autonomous division of Unilever Bestfoods – Del Monte and PJ Smoothies.

The moves by Heinz and Unilever follow similar snubs by leading retailers Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Sainsbury’s has refused to use the DoH logo on its fresh, tinned or frozen foods and Tesco is reported to be undecided on the issue.

Early this year, the DoH condemned a marketing campaign which promoted Unilever Bestfoods’ Knorr Vie soup as a healthy-eating product (MW January 16). Unilever, however, decided to go ahead with its claim that “three out of your five” recommended portions of fruit and vegetables can be gained from Knorr Vie.Heinz promotes about 70 products under a “five a day the Heinz way” banner.

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