Full Responses from Food Producers
June 2020 Campaign
Original Request here.
Subject: A Reply from PepsiCo Consumer Relations 067481830A
Thank you for your email message.
The FDA decision to allow for minor formulation changes due to ingredient availability during the COVID-19 pandemic does not include allergens and other ingredients that cause sensitivities or any other type of claim/required information that would pose a safety/health risk to consumers. PepsiCo is taking any supply issues/ingredient swapping very seriously and will only consider minor changes if they are absolutely necessary, will not impact the label, and will not include unlabeled allergens.
I hope this is helpful. Thanks again for reaching out to us.
Link to pdf of letter here.
That's a really good question,
We can't speak for everyone in the industry, but we can speak for ourselves and we can assure you that we haven't changed any of our practices before, during, or after COVID-19. As a company, our goal is to provide you with...fresh and local products. The only way we can do that is not only by following all of the regulations in place but holding ourselves to a higher standard that allows us to #NourishLivesOneAtATime. Hope this helps!
From: Beckman, Jeff <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 12:05 PM
Subject: RE: [External] Letter to Food Producers
To: Customer Service <[email protected]>
Thank you for reaching out to the Hershey Company. We are aware of the FDA temporary guidance on food labeling. To date, we have not encountered any COVID-19 related impacts that would affect current product labels.
Food safety and consumer trust are critically important to The Hershey Company. We’re a company that believes in being open and transparent so we can help people achieve balance and well-being while enjoying the snacks they love. We care about what goes inside our products, so we maintain relationships with farmers and suppliers to make sure we use the highest-quality ingredients in our products. And we are transparent so it is easy to access information about everything that goes into our snacks and why those ingredients are there.
Our philosophy is to offer consumers both Choice and Transparency. We give consumers the options and the tools to choose what’s right for them. And we work hard to make it easy to access information about what is in our products. We helped pioneer SmartLabel for this very reason. In addition to SmartLabel, we offer information about our ingredients and details about GMO ingredients through our corporate website, including a full glossary of all ingredients we use across our product portfolio and explanations of the ingredients and why we need them to provide the great flavors, aromas, textures and appearances that our consumers know and love.
Another reason we focus on providing reliable and accurate food labeling is for food allergic consumers. This is critical for safety, to build trust, and give them the ability to make informed choices on the products that they purchase. They also rely on us to provide easy access to the information needed to make those choices.
In terms of children and nutrition, we have long supported efforts to feed families and kids around the world. We know that many kids go to school with empty stomachs and don’t get the nutrition they need during summer vacations when school lunch programs are on a break. In the United States, we support FEEDING AMERICA® to help bridge this gap. In Canada, we partner with FOOD BANKS CANADA to support for its After the Bell program and we support their summer meal packs and the Food Explorers program, which teaches kids how to safely prepare nutritious meals for themselves.
Around the world, we have executed our Nourishing Minds program and specifically in West Africa where we source most of our cocoa, we built a factory to produce ViVi—a peanut-based fortified snack—to give to school children daily. We developed ViVi with Project Peanut Butter to provide children with 30 percent of their daily nutritional intake requirements. Between 2014 and 2019, we produced more than 56 million sachets of ViVi, which have been distributed to over 265,000 children. Research shows this has resulted in an increase in both school enrollment and regular attendance as well as improved academic performance. It has also reduced the prevalence of anemia in those receiving ViVi by 11–81 percent. We encourage you to read more about our work in fighting childhood hunger and supporting nutrition in our recently released 2019 Sustainability Report.
Thanks again for reaching out and sharing your perspectives. We share your belief in food safety, ingredient transparency and support efforts to address childhood hunger and support nutrition for children and feed those who lack access to sufficient food on a daily basis.
Director, Corporate Communications
The Hershey Company
Zen, please know that we are aware of FDA’s recent guidance providing temporary flexibility in food labeling requirements. At this point, we are working hard to avoid having to make material changes to any of our products based on supply chain disruptions. We hope this helps!