Last month, we reported on the baffling decision the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) made to place their new “Kids Eat Right” logo on Kraft Singles “cheese.”
Yesterday, Kraft and AND announced that they are ending the program:
“Although we stand by our decision to work together to shine a light on this issue, and not to serve as a product endorsement, we believe misperceptions are overshadowing the campaign,” Kraft said Tuesday in a statement. “As such, both organizations have agreed it is best not to proceed as originally planned.”
Jody Moore, a spokeswoman for Kraft, said the company and academy are still working out the details of ending its three-year agreement, which would have included a website and other to-be-determined elements.
“That collaboration is not going to be happening,” Moore said.
The logo will start appearing on products this week and will likely remain on shelves until at least July because some packaging has already been manufactured, she said. Moore would not say whether Kraft will still give money to the academy.
The cancellation of the deal came after members of AND expressed concerns over the perception of endorsement of the processed “cheese” product by the organization. Those members also wanted the academy to disclose any financial incentives that were given by Kraft in exchange for the use of the logo.
Critics said that consumers would likely interpret the “Kids Eat Right” logo on Kraft Singles packages as the academy’s seal of approval for the products, though Kraft and the academy claimed that never was the partnership’s goal.
Several members of the academy (which is a trade group that represents 75,000 nutrition professionals) spoke out against the program and launched a #RepealTheSeal campaign and petition.
They posted the following petition update today:
We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) for their recent decision to terminate the Kids Eat Right initiative with Kraft.
Having held previous offices within various levels at the Academy, we appreciate that change doesn’t come quickly or easily. Their willingness to listen to members’ concerns regarding this initiative, and take immediate steps necessary to repeal it has earned our appreciation and respect.
We are also grateful for their promise to “engage with the Academy House of Delegates and with all Academy members on future initiatives to promote healthful foods and nutrition in the most professional, ethical and transparent manner possible.”
It takes courage to sit down and listen to criticism and then do something about it. They did just that—and we believe it will ultimately improve our profession, our organization and our public trust.
To each of you who signed this petition, thank you for speaking up and letting your voices be heard.
With heartfelt thanks,
Rachel Begun, MS, RDN
Kate Geagan, MS, RDN
Regan Jones, RDN
To all Nutritional Anarchy readers who signed the petition, WE would like to give a heartfelt thanks as well.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead