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Campbell Soup Company Strengthens Pledge Under the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative
October 22, 2008

Company sets lower limit on sodium to reflect reformulated, healthy, soups and expands number of Goldfish® crackers advertised to kids under 12

Arlington, VA – The Council of Better Business Bureaus today announced the approval of Campbell Soup Company’s amended pledge as a participant in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. As a result of Campbell’s dedication to providing healthier food options, the company has successfully reformulated 11 of its children’s soups to contain substantially less sodium. The amended advertising pledge made to BBB’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative reflects the progress made in the reformulation of products and includes a more rigorous requirement for sodium content in soups marketed to kids under 12.
 
“The new Campbell Soup Company pledge illustrates the dynamic nature of the Initiative as Campbell has strengthened the nutritional guidelines it uses as its basis for advertising better-for-you-options to children based on ongoing product reformulation,” said Elaine Kolish, director of the Initiative.

Prior to the amendment, Campbell’s commitment to advertise better-for-you soups to children was primarily met through soups that had 25 percent less sodium (11 of the 13 soups) than the largest selling canned soup. The amended pledge requires that most soups advertised to children under 12 contain no more than 480 mg of sodium per serving. This amount meets the FDA’s sodium criterion for use of the claim “healthy” in individual foods, and represents an average reduction of 21 percent from the prior sodium levels.

The new pledge went into effect at the start of the company’s fiscal year and the company expects that by January of 2009 most of the soups it advertises to children under 12 will be on store shelves with no more than 480 mg sodium.

Campbell’s subsidiary, Pepperidge Farm, also reformulated its line of Flavor Blasted Goldfish crackers to meet its criteria as a sound food choice. The  criteria now call for snack crackers to be 170 calories or less, have no more than 35 percent calories from fat, no more than 10 percent calories from saturated fat, zero grams trans fat and no more than 12 grams of sugar (other than from fruit, vegetables or dairy).

Under the amended pledge, Campbell may also advertise two products, 25 percent Less Sodium Chicken Noodle Soup, based on its sodium reduction, and Tomato Soup, based on its nutrient content (it contains a full serving of vegetable and 10 percent of the Daily Value of Vitamin C). Pepperidge Farm may advertise nine of its Goldfish crackers, including the entire Flavor Blasted line.

Currently, approximately 130 products meet the Initiative participants’ BBB-approved nutrition criteria and may be advertised as better-for-you products to children under 12. In addition to using nutrition standards that set specific limits on calories, fats, sugars and sodium, participants may qualify products as better-for-you by meeting FDA’s standards for claims of “reduced” or “low.”  The “reductions” in calories, fats, sugar or sodium make the product better-for-you compared to another version of the product or a best selling comparable product. Similarly, products qualifying as “low” in a nutrient may be better choices than other products that do not qualify for such a claim. Prior to Campbell’s new pledge, 20 products qualified as better-for-you products on the basis that they are “reduced” or “low” in sodium, fat, sugar or calories. With Campbell’s new pledge approximately 10 percent of the Initiative’s approved products (12 products) qualify as “better-for-you” because they are “reduced” or “low.”

In July of 2008, the CBBB released the first report on the progress that has been made by the Initiative participants after their pledges were announced at the FTC’s July 2007 forum. This report is available online at www.us.bbb.org/advertisers4healthykids.

Media members may contact Alison Preszler, Media Relations for the Council of Better Business Bureaus, at apreszler@council.bbb.org or call 703-247-9376 to request an interview or additional information.

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About the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative
BBB launched the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in November 2006 to shift the mix of advertising messaging directed at children to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles. The 15 participants of the Initiative are Burger King Corp.; Cadbury Adams USA LLC; Campbell Soup Company; The Coca-Cola Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; The Dannon Company; General Mills, Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kellogg Company; Kraft Foods Global, Inc.; Mars, Inc.; McDonald’s USA, LLC; Nestlé USA; PepsiCo, Inc.; and Unilever United States. For more information about the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and to view the pledges of the participants visit: www.us.bbb.org/advertisers4healthykids