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Below are some of the frequently asked questions relating to Consumer Foods.
1. What are Consumer Foods?
Consumer Foods are generally prepackaged goods which are to be found in most grocery stores.
2. What are the key challenges for the Consumer Foods sector?
Like most businesses in Ireland, the consumer foods sector faces a range of challenges. These include maintaining competitiveness, dealing with regulatory burden, tackling rising business input costs (labour, energy, waste, raw materials, transport etc) and responding to consumer trends (health & wellness, advertising restrictions, etc)
3. What has the Consumer Foods sector done to help play its part in tackling obesity?
The Consumer Foods sector has made significant progress over the past number of years in helping to play its part in tackling Ireland's obesity issue. Initiatives include; new product development, product reformulation, improved product labelling through the introduction of
Guideline Daily Amount
labels and the establishment of the
Nutrition & Health Foundation
. For more information
4. What are GDAs?
Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) are scientifically accepted reference figures that provide a guide to the amount of energy and key nutrients (sugars, fat, saturates and salt) that the average healthy person needs to achieve a balanced diet. The GDA logo system, which is now displayed on the packaging of most leading food and drink brands, is designed to help consumers understand how much energy/key nutrients is in a portion of a particular product and how that amount relates to the overall guideline daily amount. For more information,
5. Why does the industry support GDAs?
The industry supports GDAs because;
GDAs give consumers more information, helping them to make better informed food choices
GDA labels provide a continual incentive for food and drink manufacturers to reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar in their products
GDA labels are based on portion sizes that people actually eat . They are realistic.
GDA labels work – they encourage consumers to make healthier choices (c.f. Tesco till receipt data).
GDA labels are simpler. Consumers can easily compare two similar products to choose which one is right for them. If they want to limit consumption of a certain nutrient, they simply pick the product with the lower number
6. Why does the industry not support traffic lights?
Industry does NOT support the use of colour coding on pack. This is because the industry believes that colour coding is a 'label' attached to an individual product on a 100g/ml basis;
independently of the amount of product that is consumed
independently of the frequency of consumption of that product
independently of the amount and frequency of consumption of all other foods during that day
not referenced to an energy guideline to reflect individual energy requirements
7. Should advertising to children be restricted?
Yes. Children are a vulnerable consumer group and as such, deserve special consideration and treatment to ensure that their inexperience and natural credulity is not exploited. The industry believes that this regulation is best carried out through a co-regulatory framework with industry, regulators and other relevant stakeholders working together to ensure all advertising is honest, decent, legal and truthful.
8. How has the advertising and marketing environment changed over the past 5 years?
The advertising and marketing environment has changed enormously over the past 5 years. The food and drink sector now operates within a broad framework of voluntary and regulatory codes, which have resulted in a substantial change in advertising practices - particularly advertising directed towards children. For more information,
9. What is the sector doing to improve recycling rates?
Consumer Foods companies have been working through their membership of Repak to improve recycling rates in Ireland. Through Repak, members have helped Ireland exceed its European packaging recovery targets in 2001 and 2005. For more information, visit
10. What is the sector doing to reduce it's carbon footprint?
Our member companies have all committed to a range of activities that will help reduce their carbon footprint. This includes taking action in the following areas to reduce and offset carbon emissions;
Innovation & procurement
For practical informaiton on how to read GDA labels
› Visit www.GDAguide.ie
For more information about the NHF and its activities, click on the above link
› Nutrition & Health Foundation
For information about the food industry's committments to change the way it advertises to children
› EU Pledge
To find out the answers to more frequently asked questions about the Food Industry in Ireland, please click the link above.
› Other Food Industry FAQ's
In this section:
Consumer foods organisational structure
Environment and sustainability
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84/86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2; Tel: (01) 605 1500; Fax: (01) 638 1500