This report looks at the state of health and nutrition claims in Canada from 2007-2012, as well the United States (U.S) and the European Union (EU).
Several different questions were addressed for this report:
1. During the five year period from 2007 to 2012, was there an increase or a decrease health and nutrition claims?
2. What were the top 20 health and nutrition claims in 2007 and 2012? And how is the nature of the claims changing through the years?
3. What are the major food categories carrying the top 20 health and nutrition claims overall? And what is the nutrition profile of these food products? Are there any major ingredients associated with these claims?
4. How are the claims of interest displayed on the label in terms of location, length of claim and symbols?
5. Are claims available on product/company websites and other social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter etc.), how to they compare to the claims on the label? How do they align with government health and nutrition messages?
For this report, the Mintel New Product Global Database was used to gather information for health and nutrition claims. The search strategy was to capture all packaged food and drink (excluding alcoholic) products in Canada between the January 2007 and December 2012 carrying a claim that represents nutrition and/or general healthy eating. Health claims are “any representation in labelling or advertising that sates, suggests, or implies that a relationship exists between consumption of a food, or to an ingredient in the food and health” (1). This includes nutrient content claims, which are claims that directly or indirectly state the level of a nutrient present in a food (2), general health claims - broad statements that promote healthy eating or dietary guidance (1), and functional claims which are claims about the specific beneficial effects that the consumption of a food has on normal biological activities (1). Other Non-health and nutrition claims were also included in the search such as “organic”, “kosher” and “all natural” since these are very common food claims.
The search field was left blank to not exclude any products. All claims were included in the search with the exception of beauty enhancing, convenience, ethical & environmental, beauty benefits and positioning claims since these claims were outside of the scope of this research. The results yield 18,084 products; this includes all variants such as flavour variants, new packaging and line extensions. Please note, individual product variants were included and an assumption has been made that the different product variants carry the same claim(s) (since no other information has been provided in the database to say otherwise), also that a product can carry multiple claims.
The same protocol was used the search for products in 2007 only, 2012 only and for the United States during the same time period.
For the European Union search, the following countries...