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A single food choice logo for The Netherlands

July 19th, 2012

Stichting Ik Kies Bewust (the Dutch affiliate of the Choices International Foundation) and the Albert Heijn supermarket chain have agreed to start using a single national food choice logo. Albert Heijn’s Keuze Klavertje (Choice cloverleaf) and the Ik Kies Bewust stamp (Dutch Choices stamp) have therefore been combined to form a new food choice logo for The Netherlands, which will be gradually introduced over the course of 2011.

Two years ago, discussions aimed at creating a single logo for The Netherlands began between Stichting Ik Kies Bewust and Albert Heijn. Now, with Albert Heijn’s affiliation to Stichting Ik Kies Bewust (a cooperation between supermarkets, manufacturers and foodservice companies) and the combination of their two existing logos, an approximate 6600 Dutch products will carry the new stamp.

This new stamp will not only enable consumers to make healthy selections more easily and rapidly, but will also encourage supermarkets, caterers and manufacturers to further improve their products. The basic principle of the new stamp remains the same: the fat, salt, sugar energy and dietary fibre content of products carrying the stamp have been evaluated.

The new stamp will have two variations: green and blue

The green stamp with ‘gezondere keuze‘ (healthy choice) represents the healthy choice within a category of basic products. These basic products – including bread, milk, fruit and vegetables – are essential to a healthy diet. The blue stamp with ‘bewuste keuze’ (conscious choice) helps to select healthier options within non-basic product categories, including soups, sauces and snacks.

Ultimately, both variations of the stamp help consumers to make more informed choices within all product groups – from meat and bread to snacks and sauces. This in turn encourages healthier product innovation within the entire range of available food products.

Netherlands Nutrition Centre
Products carrying the new stamp must meet a set of nutritional criteria. These have been developed by an independent Scientific Committee and are aligned with the official Dutch Guidelines for Food Choice published by the Netherlands Nutrition Centre. As Boudewijn Breedveld, Interim Director of the Centre states: “Clear dietary information is of vital importance to consumers, and this has been achieved with the harmonisation of the criteria and the single logo.”

For more information, in Dutch, please visit the website of Stichting Ik Kies Bewust

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5th annual Nutrition & Lifestyle Conference sponsored by Choices

July 19th, 2012

The 5th annual Nutrition & Lifestyle Conference was held on 2-3 March in Brussels, with the Choices Programme as one of the sponsors. Top level speakers from industry, EU institutions and NGOs engaged in a lively and interactive discussion about various themes relating to obesity and nutrition in Europe, as well as important issues in terms of policy, including advertising, labeling, nutrient profiling and health claims. Ellis Vyth, researcher at the VU University Amsterdam, presented a study on the impact of the Choices stamp, concluding that it plays a vital role in promoting healthier product development.

You can find the sheets from Ellis Vyth’s presentation here.

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Preparations for the Dutch communication campaign are on track!

July 16th, 2012

The results of a Dutch television commercial pre-test done at the end of June 2012 were very clear – consumers not only find the commercial easy to understand, but they associate the concept of the message with health, and describe the logo as a “convenient ally”. The support of the Dutch Nutrition Centre also brings additional credibility and trust for the message. In this light, production for the commercial can begin shortly!

Although the outcome was positive, some changes have been made to the original concept. For instance, in order to better explain the difference between the green and blue circle around the logo, there will be an additional print campaign.  The Dutch foundation is also counting on the help of its participants in communicating about the difference.

The campaign will be launched in Autumn, either at the end of October or the beginning of November. As of that date, the logo will be hard to miss on television, in the media, on the internet, and on the shop floor.

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