The UK unit of US food giant Heinz is reportedly planning to drop its “healthy eating” logo from cans of baked beans, spaghetti and soups, over fears the products will not meet government health targets.
Heinz said the limits on salt, sugar and fat in processed foods that are to be issued by the government are likely to be so stringent that some Heinz products will not count, reported the Times.
Labels on some Heinz products carry the “Five a day – the healthy way” logo, which show how many fruit & veg portions the product contains. For example, the label on a 400g can of Heinz Tomato Soup says the product contains two fruit & veg portions per half can.
However, the label is not part of the official government “5-a-day” healthy eating scheme. The company was criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority last year for its claims about “healthy portions” on cans of tomato soup.
“We think the proposed new guidelines may send mixed messages to consumers since many familiar foods that have previously counted will no longer contribute,” Heinz corporate affairs general manager, Michael Mullen, was quoted by the Times as saying.
“Heinz believes that food companies have an important role to play in promoting healthy eating but the new guidelines will disqualify many nourishing and nutritious foods from counting towards 5-a-day,” he added.
It is not yet known whether processed foods will be able to count towards the government’s new logo standard. The 5-a-day logo can currently be used on canned, dried and frozen fruit and vegetables, as well as fresh produce, providing they do not contain added salt, sugar or fat.