The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) – the US food industry body – has rebranded as the Consumer Brands Association (CBA) to reflect the fact it now represents the whole consumer packaged goods sector.

The CBA said that under its new guise, which comes into force next year, it will support a wider industry supporting more than 20 million American jobs.

However, some media commentators in the US suggest the organisation is trying to change its mission following the loss of support from a number of ‘big food’ players.

Over the past two years, food companies including Campbell Soup Co., Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Hershey and Unilever have left the GMA, often disagreeing with its strategy.

But the organisation’s membership still includes food heavyweights such as Conagra Brands and Kellogg.

In a statement announcing the change in name and direction, the former food lobbyist said: “As the Consumer Brands Association, we will always ask a simple question – ‘where can we champion the aligned interests of industry and the consumers it serves’?

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“We will highlight the good the industry does, from supporting more than 20 million American jobs to making unprecedented commitments to packaging sustainability. And we will drive an advocacy agenda that is built around shared values: promoting product affordability; enhancing consumer safety and wellness; creating a healthier planet; fostering innovation; reducing confusion in the marketplace and building trust in our industry and its products.”

US news network CNBC reports that among the issues that were debated between large food companies and the GMA were how and when to disclose the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food.