Kellogg moves to raise cereal fibre content

Breakfast cereal maker Kellogg Canada has announced plans to add more fibre to its product line of ready-to-eat cereals.

By the end of 2010, the company said in a release last week, almost 74 per cent of Kellogg’s ready-to-eat cereals in Canada will be at least a “source” to “very high source” of fibre.

At the same time, Kellogg Canada said it plans to roll out on a “national fibre education awareness campaign to help educate consumers about the importance of fibre.”

Kellogg’s U.S. parent is making a “similar commitment” in the U.S., but its products and schedule will vary, the Canadian company said.

Asked by e-mail what the company’s sources of fibre would include, Kellogg Canada’s vice-president for nutrition and corporate affairs, Christine Lowry, replied that Kellogg is “looking to a wide variety of fibres, all of which have proven physiological benefits, to help Canadians meet their daily fibre needs.”

Of those fibre ingredients, among the company’s other cereal ingredients, Lowry said, most are sourced in Canada and the U.S., although “as a global company, we also source some ingredients from other countries.”

Children ages four to eight get 13.5 grams of fibre on average per day, which is about half their recommended intake, Kellogg said, citing a Health Canada consumer survey.

“Since fibre is so important to children’s health, we’re first increasing the fibre in some of our most popular children’s cereals — beginning with Kellogg’s Froot Loops and Corn Pops, which will start to appear on store shelves in September 2009,” Lowry said in the company’s release.

“Adding fibre without changing the taste people love is an ideal way to help families increase their daily fibre intakes.”

For adults, the company said, fibre can help “weight managers” feel fuller longer, improve their digestive health and reduce risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But adults also get about half the recommended fibre they need each day, the company said.

In its weekly bulletin Monday, the Canadian Wheat Board noted that fibre and whole grains ranked first and second, respectively, among components adults most want to add to their diets, according to a 2009 survey by the International Food Information Council, based in Washington, D.C.

Thirty-seven per cent of respondents listed fibre as among the top three “potentially beneficial components” they want in foods and beverages, while 34 per cent listed whole grains, the CWB said.

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