Kraft Foods has reformulated hundreds of its US products as part of its trans fat reduction efforts.

The US-based food giant said late yesterday (20 December) that it has successfully completed its multi-year, voluntary trans fat reduction efforts in the country. In addition, the company said that it will meet the January 1, 2006 US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) deadline for on-pack trans fat labelling.

"The new FDA rule does not require companies to reduce trans fat content. Kraft took the added steps of reducing or removing trans fat from its products, while making sure they retain their great taste. With nearly every reformulated product, not only did the company reduce trans fat content, but it also ensured that the combination of saturated fat plus trans fat did not increase compared to the original formulation," a statement from Kraft said.

"As part of Kraft's broader health and wellness initiatives, we're continually working on ways to enhance the nutritional profiles of our products," noted Lance Friedmann, senior vice president, global health & wellness and new category development. "With trans fat reformulation efforts, we've responded to consumers' concerns, while also delivering on their quality and taste expectations. A great example of having met this goal is our Triscuit cracker line; we've seen double-digit growth on Triscuit sales since its reformulation."

The company said it had reformulated across its entire US portfolio, with roughly 650 products needing new formulas or manufacturing solutions, or both.

As a result, seven Kraft categories undertook significant reformulation efforts across their product lines, including: Cereal, Cookies, Crackers, Pizza, Desserts, Meals, and Oscar Mayer. Brands such as Kraft Easy Mac, DiGiorno Thin Crispy Crust Pizza, original Oreo cookies, Wheat Thins crackers, and Jell-O Pudding Snacks will now be labelled as containing 0g trans fat per serving.

With the completion of the reformulation efforts, fewer than 2.5% of the products in Kraft's portfolio covered by the FDA rule will be required to bear labels declaring the presence of trans fat. These include products where trans fat is naturally occurring, such as cheeses, products containing meats or cheeses (eg pizza, lunch combinations), and products where reformulation efforts would have negatively altered the taste and quality of the product, the company said.

Kraft added that its approach to trans fat reformulation is global, with significant efforts under way in markets around the world.