New logo for grain foods aims to convey vitality
used on the packaging of member products - in order to better
convey the link between grains and vitality.
The Grains for Life logo was launched almost three years ago as part of a campaign to promote the consumption of grain foods. The multi-million dollar campaign in New York and Washington sought to remind people how grains can contribute to long life and fitness and energy levels through advertisements on the street, in grocery stores, gyms and physicians' offices, and through the dissemination of fact-packed literature. The organization's logo was adopted by some of its 120 members in an effort to highlight the grain content of their products. In order to qualify for use of the symbol, products must be 50 percent grains by weight, a guideline that in itself disqualifies high fat or high sugar products. Grain Food Foundation (GFF) president Judi Adams said the organization does not only promote heart-healthy whole grains, but all types of grains, including wheat, barley, oats, millet and sorghum. "You do need whole grains in your diet, but you also need all grains. For example, white breads and pasta with enriched grains have twice as much folic acid as whole grains, and it's important to get that in the diet too," she told FoodNavigator-USA.com. Currently, the Grains for Life logo is used on around 50 products found in supermarkets across the country. However, according to Adams, the logo "just didn't stand out enough". This prompted the group to redesign the symbol, which now depicts a lively figure jumping out of a stalk of grain. "What we hope it will tell is that grain foods are real important for energy and vitality levels." Member companies, which pay an annual fee depending on their size, will continue using the old logo until all existing packaging has been used. New members, however, can immediately begin using the new symbol. Members currently include names such as Kroger, Flower Foods, Interstate Bakeries, George Weston Bakeries, Bimbo and Pepperidge Farm. GFF kicked off its Grains For Life campaigning efforts in early 2005, in an effort to redress the worrying findings of a survey carried out amongst 2000 adult Americans on behalf of the foundation, which showed that only 12 percent of consumers were aware that bread can help protect against serious health conditions. Almost a quarter of participants indicated that they thought carbohydrate restriction was a sensible dietary approach. Co-chair of the GFF Advisory Board Dr Glenn Gaesser of the University of Virginia said at the time: "Americans must understand that breads and grains are not the bad guy, they do not cause obesity and, in fact, are very healthy foods." The year before, GFF had reviewed 900 scientific studies linking grains with health, disease-prevention and nutrition. Amongst its findings, which form the basis of the Grains for Life literature, were three key messages: Grain-based carbohydrates are not the problem in obesity, and diets that rely on restricting any food group could be harmful; carbohydrates are needed to support a physically active lifestyle and optimal health; and grain products, including those fortified with folic acid, provide good sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other healthy components and may reduce the risk of early mortality and chronic diseases.