The Keystone Center, a non-profit organization that creates consensus solutions to public health problems, has created the Smart Choices Program to help easily identify smart nutrition options. The group tapped Anthem Worldwide, a global design firm, to develop a front-of-package beverage and food labeling program that U.S. beverage and food manufacturers and retailers can voluntarily adopt to help consumers make dietary choices that fit within their daily calorie needs.
The Smart Choices Program is a coalition-based effort to propose a uniform way of getting nutritional information to consumers, says Brad Sperber, senior staff member and facilitator/director of Keystone Food and Nutrition Roundtable. The program can be used regardless of brand or manufacturer, in virtually in any store.
In developing the Smart Choices Program logo, the design firm knew the symbol must clearly showcase the healthier choice message, says Janice Jaworski, managing director in the New York office of Anthem Worldwide. It had to communicate credibility, trustworthiness and be easy to apply to both large and small packages. It had to stand out and be recognizable, simple, positive and universally understood.
“We created a version of the mark in both a horizontal and vertical format, with a corresponding calorie indicator on both as well,” Jaworski says. “From that point, we went forward to try to write some guidelines and direction for manufacturers to be able to deploy these symbols on packaging in a fashion that would be flexible enough to accommodate the integrity of the current package and still maintain some kind of consistency.”
For beverages specifically, a smaller version of the symbol was created, she adds.
The Smart Choices Program is based on nutrition criteria from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and additional sources. If a product meets the criteria, a symbol can be shown on its front label identifying its calories per serving, servings per container and the Smart Choice insignia. The program is set to roll out this summer. BI