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The revision aims to help consumers make informed and healthier decisions on agri-food products such as honey, fruit juice, jam, jellies and marmalades.

On 12th December, Parliament adopted its position on the revision of the so-called ‘breakfast’ directives with 522 votes in favour, 13 against and 65 abstentions. The proposal updates rules on the composition, name, labelling and presentation of certain ‘breakfast’ foodstuffs.

Clear labelling of country of origin

MEPs agree that the country where honey has been harvested must appear on the label. They add that for fruit juices, jams, jellies, marmalades and sweetened chestnut purée the country of origin of the fruit used must also be indicated on the front-label. If the honey or fruit used originates in more than one country, MEPs want the countries of origin to be indicated on the label in descending order according to the proportion they make up of the final product.

To limit fraud, MEPs want to set-up a traceability system for the honey supply chain to track product origin. They also want the EU to form a reference laboratory for honey to improve controls and to detect adulteration through systematic testing.

Sugar content labelling

MEPs propose that the label ‘contains only naturally occurring sugars’ should be allowed for fruit juices. To meet the growing demand for low-sugar products, reformulated fruit juices may be labelled ‘reduced-sugar fruit juice’.

New techniques that remove naturally occurring sugars in fruit juices, jams, jellies or milk should not lead to the use of sweeteners to compensate for the effect of sugar reduction on the taste, texture and quality of the final product, MEPs say. They add that labels of the reduced-sugar foodstuff must not contain claims regarding positive properties, such as health benefits.

Next steps

Parliament is now ready to begin talks with EU governments on the final shape of the law.

Background

The revision of EU marketing standards for certain ‘breakfast’ directives was proposed by the European Commission on 21 April 2023 to update current standards that are more than 20 years old.

Eating more protein, especially at breakfast, could be the key to achieving healthy weight loss, according to a new report released by CSIRO.

The report, Protein Balance: New concepts for protein in Weight Management, affirms the benefits of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet for weight control and reveals that the latest scientific evidence supports eating at least 25 grams of protein at each main meal to control hunger and enhance muscle metabolism.

The new Total Wellbeing Diet Protein Balance program focuses on shifting more protein consumption to breakfast.
“The average Australian eats much lower amounts of protein at breakfast, so increasing breakfast protein may help to control eating later in the day,” Senior Principal Research Scientist for CSIRO and co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, Professor Manny Noakes, said.

“If you find it difficult to control what you eat, a redistribution of protein toward breakfast may be the answer to reducing your waistline without leaving you ravenously hungry and craving unhealthy foods.”

The CSIRO report showed that for most Australians, protein intake was skewed towards the evening meal, with only small amounts eaten at breakfast. On average women consumed 11 g of protein at breakfast, compared to the male average of 15 g.

The report also found that older Australians consumed the least amount of protein at breakfast but needed more protein to prevent muscle loss.

“The scientific evidence supports a higher protein diet, combined with regular exercise, for greater fat loss. Eating at least 25 g of protein at main meals can assist with hunger control,” Professor Noakes said.

According to the report, Australians get over one third of their dietary protein from low-quality sources such as processed foods, instead of whole protein sources including lean meats, fish, eggs, legumes and dairy.

Adopting a higher protein, moderate carbohydrate, low GI diet is a nutritious way to lose weight and has been scientifically validated for some time, , underpinning successful programs such as the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet.

Since launching in 2005, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet has helped more than half a million Australians lose weight.

A digital platform aimed to inspire healthy breakfast habits became the winning concept when the students at Bergh’s School of Communication competed on how Arla Foods should reach out and engage young consumers through digital interactivity based on packaging as a platform. Among many strong contributions, Breakfast Stories stood out as an idea and design with potential to bring about true behavioral change. PackChallenge is arranged annually by Billerud Korsnäs and Bergh’s School of Communication in Stockholm, Sweden.

Through September and October, the students in the Communication Design Program at Bergh’s School of Communication in Stockholm have competed on ways for one of the world’s largest dairy producers, Arla Foods, to produce the best packaging solution to reach out and engage young consumers.

A total of ten groups presented their solutions and the winning concept, “Breakfast Stories”, considered the problem that 20-30 percent of teenager’s skip breakfast almost every day. The idea behind the concept is to use Arlas’s different product packages and through a QR code give teens and parents access to a digital platform where they can share stories and facts about healthy breakfast habits. The team behind the winning concept consists of Daniela Röstlund and Sukena Tran.

The jury, consisting of among others Jon Haag Director Consumer Insights at BillerudKorsnäs and Maria Tornell Director Innovation at Arla Foods, assessed the contributions according to idea height/originality, relevance, feasibility and finish. The motivation behind the winning contribution reads: A societal problem that is too little talked about. The insights have guided the concept development through digital, campaigns, product range, design originality and target group focus. Therefore, this is the strongest concept according to this year’s brief. It is useful for many product groups within Arla, it is based on a community that is truly digital and it connects to packaging and the situation of use just as Arla wanted. What we see in this concept is the beginning of a long-term work where community problems can be solved with product, packaging and brand.

“Packaging can contribute so much more to a sustainable development than just being made of a more or less sustainable material. Packaging could interact with consumers and have a more direct impact on consumer behavior. The students at Berghs have worked hard and presented concepts with a high creative level and consumer insight. We are impressed,” comments Jon Haag.

“The winning team has shown a great understanding of the Arla brand, our market position and at the same time pinpointed a important societal issue. However, there was tough competition with lots of amazing contributions. PackChallenge has given us lots of valuable input to our own product development and I’m sure we will continue with several of the ideas,” says Maria Tornell.

“At Bergh’s, we often work in conjunction with business and brand owners, which is a natural part of our education. Action Based Learning gives the students real challenges and becomes the best way to train their professional role. The long standing cooperation with BillerudKorsnäs is one of our most successful projects during the academic year,” says Pål Pettersson, Program Director Communication Design at Bergh’s School of Communication.