Nourishing People with Our Foods
Our purpose at Kellogg Company is to nourish families so they flourish and thrive, and we’ve been doing exactly that for more than 110 years.
Examples of our commitment to people’s wellbeing can be found throughout our long history of innovation, from introducing one of the first high-fiber cereals in 1915, to being one of the first in the industry to hire a dietitian in 1923. And in 1938, Kellogg recognized that fortification with micronutrients played a vital role in achieving optimal health for all the family and has been voluntarily adding vitamins and minerals to breakfast cereals, launching ‘Pep’, the first cereal to be fortified with B vitamins and vitamin D.
Why fortify cereal?
Scientific evidence from around the world demonstrates that voluntary fortification of foods can play an important role in helping to increase the intake of shortfall micronutrients among both children and adults. For example, fortification of folic acid resulted in a decrease of neural tube birth defects in the US by 36 percent, resulting in an additional 1,000 healthy babies each year from 1991-20011.
Today, breakfast cereals are common fortified foods around the globe. Often the fortification profiles look different market to market, as local regulation, nutrient needs and consumer demands vary. Although fortification is not a mandatory requirement for cereal, Kellogg continues to believe in the impact it can have on nutrient intakes, especially those of public health concern.
With that in mind, we fortify with low but significant levels of vitamins and minerals ̶ significant enough to make a difference to nutrient intake and status, but low enough to not be at risk of consuming too much.
How does Kellogg determine which micro-nutrients to add or remove?
In recent years, we have begun to update our fortification profiles around the world to ensure that we are purposeful and deliver against consumers’ wants and needs. We consider the following:
- Are there regulatory changes and impacts to what we are able to provide?
- Based on consumption data, what is the current impact on consumer intakes from cereal today in this country/region?
- How is our food consumed and what does the full meal provide if other foods are typically eaten with our food?
- How do we respond to new research that indicates some nutrients may be over fortified within a region?
- What is the technical feasibility of adding vitamins and minerals during the cooking process?
The answers to these questions provide us with the information we need to develop purposeful micro-nutrient blends for our brands to deliver to consumers. Our purposeful approach to fortification will continue to help ensure our foods provide the appropriate nutrients consumers both want and need. We will use science and insights to drive any current and future changes to ensure we meet our local regulations and deliver upon our more than 110-year commitment to nourish families.
Does Kellogg communicate about fortification?
As always, we are transparent about vitamin and mineral content through communication on packaging, on our websites and within our marketing communications.
In May 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new Nutrition Facts regulations for all food companies. As part of this, the FDA changed some of the daily value recommendations for vitamins and minerals based on updated research about what we need on a daily basis. For example, region-specific data indicates we now need a little more vitamin C, and not as much of the B vitamins.
As in the US, the Kellogg team in Latin America considers local health data as well consumer needs as defined through research and trend data when reviewing the nutrition profiles of its cereals. In 2011, ENSANUT México identified vitamin D as a critically deficient nutrient. By 2013, we included vitamin D across our food portfolio in this region as well as vitamin B12, folic acid and iron, among others. Daily values for vitamins & minerals are different for each country and some have fortification restrictions, for example in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile, the Iron and Zinc cap is at 25 percent of the Daily Value. This region is diverse in needs, so our products address both to be an excellent choice as part of a healthy diet.
Fortified breakfast cereals play an important role in the diets of children and adults across Europe, providing up to a quarter of recommended daily intake levels for key vitamins and minerals such as iron, B vitamins and vitamin D. We know that people who consume fortified breakfast cereals have improved vitamin and mineral intake status and that this is linked to positive health outcomes. In fact, in the 1980s, UK authorities asked Kellogg to add folic acid to cereals, since cereals are recognized as a safe and effective vehicle to deliver micronutrients into the diet. We fortify by design taking into consideration population needs, consumer requirements and sometimes we have been specifically asked by public health authorities.
AMEA (Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa)
This region has a very high prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies. According to World Health Organization, market-driven fortification can play a positive role in public health by contributing to meeting nutrient requirements and thereby reducing the risk of micronutrient deficiency. Across the region, the nutrition profile of Kellogg’s cereals help to address shortfall nutrients or nutrients of need like Vitamins A, B, C, folic acid, iron, calcium and zinc. And there is an ongoing effort to identify nutrient gaps and needs basis reports available to redesign the foods to help meet the requirements of the target population.
Mathews TJ, Honein MA, Erickson JD. Spina Bifida and Anencephaly Prevalence-United States, 1991—2001. CDC website, Sept. 2005