Canadian nutrition label campaign to focus on % Daily Value

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition facts Nutrition

Health Canada and Food and Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) have launched a Nutrition Facts Education Campaign, focusing on improving consumer comprehension of % Daily Value amounts.

The campaign focuses on the percentage of the daily recommended value of nutrients that foods and beverages provide to the diet, with five percent or less considered a little of a nutrient, and15 percent or more considered a lot. The new approach will be advertised using several different platforms including in the media, online, in store, and on food packages.

Canada’s Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq said: “We know that many consumers are using the information in the Nutrition Facts table. This innovative, national initiative builds on ongoing efforts by our Government to help Canadians better understand and use this information to make healthier food choices for themselves and their families."

FCPC president Nancy Croitoru said that % Daily Values (%DV) provide a quick way for consumers to choose and compare products based on whether they contain a lot or a little of certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, fiber, sodium, calcium, iron or vitamins.

Croitoru said: "The Government of Canada and FCPC's collaboration on this initiative provides information to Canadians in a variety of ways to help them when choosing a food or deciding between products.”

Consumer understanding

In Canada, a study released by the Canadian Council of Food and Nutrition last year found that most Canadians use on-pack nutrition labeling as their primary source of nutritional information but many need to interpret it better.

Meanwhile in the United States, few consumers use the Nutrition Facts panel to make sense of how nutrients fit into the context of their daily diet, according to the findings of a three-phase research project released by the International Food Information Council earlier this year. Among its key findings, it found that some people thought Daily Value described a product’s composition, meaning they perceived a product to be made of ten percent fat if fat was listed at ten percent DV.

Manufacturer support

Thirty-four major food and beverage manufacturers have come out in support of the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign, including Kellogg Canada – which has said it plans to feature the %DV icon on its Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran and Just Right cereal brands – and PepsiCo Canada, which said it will include the icon on Pepsi, Tropicana, Quaker Ready to Eat Cereal, Lay's, Baked! Lay's and SunChips.

A Health Canada website providing further information on the campaign can be accessed online here​.

Related topics Regulation Food safety and labeling

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