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Packaging World      Technical Editor, Rick Lingle
SPONSOR: Triangle Package Machinery Company May 20, 2008 | Edited by Rick Lingle

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FEATURED ARTICLE

ConAgra 'pyramid scheme' promotes nutrition

Graphics based on the USDA's MyPyramid system to appear on ConAgra food packages in May.

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ConAgra Foods, Inc., Omaha, NE, has connected with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to promote the MyPyramid food guidance system on packaging for some of its most popular food brands. Scheduled to launch in May, new packaging for brands such as Healthy Choice, Chef Boyardee, and Orville Redenbacher's will carry a bold, colorful label graphic that clearly conveys the percentage of daily-recommended amounts of grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy, or meat contained within the product.

Explains ConAgra CEO Gary Rodkin, "By utilizing MyPyramid in a unique and USDA-approved manner, we are providing consumers with a transparent and easy-to-understand source of dietary information at the point of purchase. Our packaging information will complement the information available in the Nutrition Facts Panel, and will help Americans know how their food choices contribute to a healthful diet based on MyPyramid."

Labels featuring USDA's MyPyramid will appear on more than 700 different ConAgra Foods packages. To warrant use of the label, ConAgra says that a product must provide consumers with a meaningful amount of at least one of the key food groups. Specifically, a product must have one or more of the following to use this label:

  • 1/2 oz equivalent of grains, which is 10 percent of the recommended daily amount
  • 1/4 cup of vegetables, or 10 percent of the RDA
  • 1/4 cup of fruit, or 15 percent of the RDA
  • 1/4 cup of dairy, or 10 percent of the RDA
  • 1/2 oz of meat and beans, or 10 percent of the RDA

The new labeling plan aligns with ConAgra's Start Making Choices program, an online resource designed by the company to provide consumers with advice and tools for living a balanced life.

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