IGD guides businesses on healthy eating messaging

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A new guide to help food businesses communicate with consumers in a clear and consistent way about achieving a healthy balanced diet is being published by IGD, the international food and grocery experts.

The best practice guide to communicating to consumers about a healthy balanced diet has been developed to ensure information provided is relevant, appropriate and in line with government messages about healthy eating, such as in the Change4life campaign.

There is a great deal of conflicting information available on nutrition and health, particularly on the internet, and this can lead to confusion, says the IGD. Some of the fad or celebrity diets, for example, have suggested limiting your intake of starchy foods, such as bread and pasta. But the Government’s eatwell plate says they should make up a third of your diet.

The guide offers a step-by-step checklist to develop an effective communications strategy, such as:
• Know who your target consumers are, eg gender, age, ethnicity
• Ensure the language and tone suit the outlet and target audience, eg using short and positive sentences
• Select the optimum communication route(s), eg on-pack, TV/radio, cookery demonstrations
• Confirm the messages and claims comply with labelling and advertising regulations (both UK and European legislation)

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “What we eat is one of the important factors in determining good health, so it is crucial to encourage people to adopt a healthy and balanced diet.

“The most effective messages in influencing healthier choices are those that are easy to understand and are used consistently, such as the five-a-day campaign.

“Consumers are bombarded with a great deal of nutritional information, a lot of which is conflicting – leading to much confusion.

“The IGD guide has been developed to ensure communication with consumers is consistent with government advice and provides ideas that are simple, practical and helpful.”

The best practice guide can be downloaded from: www.igd.com/healthybalanceddiet