Kraft Foods to double whole grain content of crackers

Posted by Josette Dunn on 28th July 2010

Kraft Foods announced plans to significantly increase the whole grain content in its leading Nabisco cracker brands, more than doubling the amount of whole grain currently used across the Nabisco portfolio. Over the next three years, some of America’s favorite cracker brands, including Wheat Thins, Honey Maid, Premium and Ritz will include more whole grain. By 2013, the company expects Nabisco crackers will contribute more than 9 billion servings of whole grain to American diets each year.”Nine out of ten Americans eat less than the recommended daily amount of whole grains,” said Rhonda Jordan, President, Global Health & Wellness, Kraft Foods. “And a growing number of consumers are trying to increase their consumption of whole grains. By significantly increasing the amount of whole grain in our crackers, we’re giving them an easy, delicious way to get the whole grain they need in the foods they already enjoy.”

Kraft Foods began to transform its cracker portfolio in August 2009 when it increased the whole grain content of Original and Reduced-Fat Wheat Thins from 5g to 11g per 31g serving. In continuing this effort, the company plans to increase whole grain in more than 100 products over the next three years, including:

* Doubling the amount of whole grain in Original Wheat Thins from 11g to 22g per serving
* More than tripling the amount in Wheat Thins Toasted Chips from 5g to 17g per serving
* Quadrupling the amount in Honey Maid Original Graham Crackers from 5g to 20g per serving
* Adding whole grain to Premium and Ritz crackers

With these improvements, a number of products, including Original Wheat Thins and Honey Maid Original Graham Crackers, will be made with 100% whole grain.

Most Americans only get about one serving (16g) of whole grain a day, compared with the recommended minimum three servings (at least 48g) per day, which means they could be missing the important nutrition benefits that whole grain offers. Eating a variety of foods to reach the recommended amount of three or more servings of whole grains can help consumers get fiber, B vitamins, and minerals like iron and magnesium.

Combining the Goodness of Whole Grain with the Taste Consumers Love
Kraft Foods has spent four years and invested significant resources in its flour milling technology, recipe development and testing to find ways to add more whole grain to its popular cracker brands. The company will be using whole grain wheat flour to increase the whole grain content of these products. Whole grain wheat flour is milled using the entire wheat kernel (bran, endosperm and germ) to offer the benefits of whole grain.

“It was critical for us to get the recipe right to deliver the benefits of whole grain without sacrificing the taste consumers expect from their favorite crackers,” said Carlos Abrams Rivera, Vice President for Nabisco crackers. “Just adding whole grain can change a product’s flavor and, in the case of crackers, can make them denser and grittier. But the combination of the right recipe and ingredients can help us maintain delicious taste and texture while adding significant levels of whole grain.”

Accelerating Health and Wellness Efforts
Today’s announcement is a continuing demonstration of Kraft Foods’ commitment to health and wellness. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to reduce sodium by an average of 10% across its North American portfolio of products, including crackers. And over the past five years, Kraft Foods has reformulated about one in four products in the United States to make them better for consumers.

“We’re accelerating our efforts in health and wellness because it’s good for consumers and good for business,” said Jordan. “Whether it’s adding more whole grain, reducing sodium or removing calories from our products, we’re making the foods consumers love even better.”