Cereal Partners Worldwide, the global cereal venture between Nestle and General Mills, have seen the bulk of its products on sale in Australia secure a healthy-eating accreditation.

The venture announced today (20 January) that 44 of the company’s Australian cereal brands – including Uncle Toby’s, Cheerios and Milo cereals – will carry the Heart Foundation Tick in 2011.

Only two of the cereal brands, which are marketed by Nestle in Australia, missed out on the tick – a new achievement for the category, the venture said.

“CPW is delighted that almost all of our cereals have earned the Heart Foundation Tick,” Neil Hodding the regional director for CPW Oceania. “The process took us five years and it is symbolic of our promise to deliver superior nutrition to Australian families. For example, in 2008 our entire range underwent improvements which resulted in all cereals being made with wholegrain and every one providing a source of fibre.”

In 2008, CPW made a number of changes to cereal formulations, including increasing the wholegrain content of Fruity Bites to 50%, decreasing the sodium in Nut Feast by 21%, and doubling the fibre (1.6g) and reducing sodium (145mg) in Cheerios (based on a 30g serve).

The Milo cereals have undergone extensive renovation over the last five years, with doubled whole grain and fibre, halved saturated fat, 12% less sugar and 38% less sodium. Milo Duo has also had its saturanted fat halved, fibre increased by 26% and wholegrain content doubled.

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“This means that, today, consumers have healthier breakfast options that don’t sacrifice on taste,” Hodding said. “Almost every one of our cereals provides wholegrain, fibre, meets the Food and Health Dialogue targets for sodium and qualifies for the Heart Foundation Tick. No other cereal manufacturer in Australia who offers so many cereals can say this.”

Only two cereals remain in CPW’s stable without the Heart Foundation’s approval – Nesquik and Uncle Toby’s Plus Protein Lift. CPW said these two cereals are currently being reformulated to meet the criteria.

Because of its renovations between 2008 – 2011, CPW estimates that more than 688 tonnes of wholegrain and 150 more tonnes of fibre have gone into the Australian food supply, and 87 tonnes of sugar, 25 tonnes of saturated fat and two tonnes of sodium have been removed.

“We are proud that CPW (Australia) is now carrying the Heart Foundation Tick across virtually their entire range of cereals. CPW should be congratulated on their commitment to an extensive reformulation programme that provides Australian families with more healthier choices at breakfast time,” said Dr Lyn Roberts, national CEO of the Heart Foundation.

“For more than two decades the Tick has been successfully challenging food companies to produce healthier foods. Now, we are challenging more breakfast brands to match the commitment of CPW.”