In a rather embarrassing and not entirely unexpected about-face, Kraft Foods Group and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have announced that they are in the process of ending the exclusive deal, proposed only weeks earlier, that allowed Kraft Singles to display a nutrition seal from the academy.
Shortly after the initial announcement, the academy “faced a mutiny among some of the 75,000 registered dietitians and other food professionals who are its members,” reports The New York Times.
In the words of dietician Andy Bellatti, the founder of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, “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.”
At the time, Kraft identified the label as an endorsement, while academy directors clearly stated otherwise, instead identifying the label as a method of outreach for greater nutrition awareness for parents, especially about the importance of vitamin D and calcium.
“Although we stand by our decision to work together to shine a light on this issue and not to serve as a product endorsement — a different position than Kraft’s original explanation — we believe misperceptions are overshadowing the campaign,” Jody Moore, a Kraft corporate spokeswoman, said in a statement to the Times. “As such, both organizations have agreed it is best not to proceed as originally planned.”