The Whole Grains Council recently launched Phase II of its popular stamp program by unveiling a new stamp design. The Phase II stamp retains the familiar graphic, but contains new text that declares the exact whole grain content of the product instead of descriptors such as "good" or "excellent" source. In addition, the new stamp features text directly below the stamp that states: "Eat 48 grams or more of whole grains daily."
The new stamp comes on the heels of FDA's warnings against the use of descriptors to describe whole grain content. The new Whole Grain Stamp may be used on products that contain at least 8 grams of whole grains. Bakery foods that contain at least 16 grams of whole grains may use the 100% Stamp if the grain content is entirely whole grain. The Whole Grains Council's Stamp Program was launched in January 2005, and the Stamps now appear on more than 650 products from 61 companies, the Council says.
On the retail side of the baking industry, Wegmans Food Markets Inc., a 71-store supermarket chain on the East Coast, introduced a new program designed to help consumers obtain the recommended 3 ozs.of whole grains a day.
"In an effort to be transparent, some industry groups have translated the dietary guidelines to mean 48 grams of actual (dry) whole grains each day," says Jane Andrews, Wegmans' corporate nutrition manager. "But few products tell you the grams of whole grain. And in any case, do people really want to do the math each day to add up to 48 grams?"
Wegmans new whole grain wellness key was designed to eliminate consumer confusion by telling consumers what foods and portion size gives them the maximum whole grain benefits. The program is visually represented through a wheat-like icon that appears on Wegmans'-branded packages, shelf talkers and signs in Wegmans' stores.