business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe yesterday reported on the revolution taking place in the cookie aisle, as manufacturers spend “millions of dollars to rid their products of trans fat on the assumption that anything other than a zero on the label will send sales plummeting.”

While federal regulations will require that trans fats be labeled beginning in 2006, suppliers are working overtime to deal with the requirements, ''It's having much more of an effect than the Food and Drug Administration ever predicted," Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, tells the Globe. ''Hopefully, it will save thousands of lives."

Companies that include Nabisco, Frito-Lay, and Pepperidge Farm are cited in the article as companies that, to varying degrees, are on the forefront of the anti-trans fat movement, though not as aggressively as Voortman Cookies, which has eliminated trans fats from its entire line of cookies.
KC's View:
It strikes us that the implications of the anti-trans fat movement are far greater than just the cookies and snacks that will be reformulated to cater to these new rules. It seems entirely possible that a very real consumer revolution is taking place – one that will require greater accountability and disclosure on the part of both manufacturers and retailers.

That is a serious challenge, but it also is an enormous opportunity. There will be those who will think that it is important to choose sides; we see emails all the time from organizations that take issue with consumer groups.

But there is only one side to be taken – the consumer’s. And by responsibly educating and informing the consumer, a real alliance can be created between industry and shoppers.