Cargill Zeroes In on Kids' Nutrition
In an effort to help food and beverage manufacturers formulate healthier products for kids, Minneapolis-based Cargill has launched a new initiative and website.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), obesity rates among children and teenagers have tripled in the past 30 years. If obesity trends continue, the associated medical costs could rise to an estimated $66 billion annually by 2030, Cargill noted.
"Cargill believes that we all have a stake in improving kids' nutrition -- families, government, public health organizations and the food and beverage industry," said Pat Bowe, corporate VP of Cargill's Food Ingredients & Systems businesses. "With this initiative, we are focusing resources to help customers develop formulations with less trans and saturated fat, sugar and sodium, and more whole grains, fiber and protein."
"Customers have an opportunity to offer healthier choices and meet new childhood nutrition guidelines and standards, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) school meal program requirements, as well as recommendations from industry organizations such as the Children's Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), Disney, and retailers including Walmart," Bowe continued.
Cargill's new web resource provides ideas for solving formulation challenges associated with creating kids' products that are healthier and taste great. The website was designed to connect food makers with updates on nutrition news, government policy, stakeholder actions and consumer trends shaping the rapidly changing landscape surrounding childhood nutrition.
"The pressure on companies to improve the nutritional profiles of products aimed at children is coming from all angles – consumers, regulators, NGOs and company shareholders," added Bowe. "With a holistic approach considering nutritional standards, taste, cost and expertise across the entire ingredient matrix, Cargill is committed to helping customers navigate formulation complexities to create affordable products with better nutritional profiles that kids will love to eat. Together we can advance a shared goal of helping kids thrive through better nutrition and health."