December 13th, 2011

Supervalu War on Obesity Drowned Out by Kraft Marketing: Retail

By Leslie Patton

When Supervalu Inc. (SVU) decided to put nutritional labels on its food, the U.S. grocery chain was determined not to play nanny to its customers, according to Chief Marketing Officer Julie Dexter Berg.

“We would never put a sign on Cheetos and say: ‘This is something you should not be buying,’” she said.

By not calling out unhealthy food, Supervalu’s labeling program may be setting itself up to fail, said Michael Jacobson, executive director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group. The labels won’t help win the war on obesity because they’re being drowned out by a marketing onslaught from the likes of Cheetos maker PepsiCo Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT), he said.

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