Kraft Singles — the individually wrapped “Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product” from the Kraft Foods Group — will be the first product to obtain a nutrition seal from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the national trade group which represents registered dieticians and nutrition professionals, reports The New York Times.
The new label, from the academy’s Kids Eat Right nutrition education program, will appear on packaging for Kraft Singles regular and 2 percent milk versions.
The move would seem to signal an endorsement of the cheese product as a nutritionally appropriate product for children, and yet, while Kraft described the label to The New York Times as an outright endorsement of the product, the academy says that is not so.
Rather, the group “emphatically denied” that the label was meant as an endorsement, and suggested that it was rather more like a carefully devised piece of brand advertising.
“The Kids Eat Right logo on Kraft Singles packaging identifies the brand as a proud supporter of Kids Eat Right,” Mary Beth Whalen, the academy’s executive director, wrote in an email to the Times. “It also serves to drive broader visibility to KidsEatRight.org, a trusted educational resource for consumers.”
Either way, the move received some criticism from nutrition professionals. Andy Bellatti, a founder of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, told the Times, “You would think an organization that has come under fire for so many years for its relations with food companies might pick something other than a highly processed cheese product for its first endorsement.”