Industry initiative seeks to head off threat of tougher government with rules of its own.
Israeli food products may soon prominently feature on their labels their nutritional parameters as well as Guide Daily Amounts for consumption of calories and certain ingredients, TheMarker has learned.
Unusually, the initiative for the change isn’t coming from the government but the food industry itself.
“This is nothing less than an earthquake for the food industry,” said one senior executive for a large food manufacturer, who asked not to be identified. “We’ve decided to put on the front of every package all the bad things the product contains. Nothing like this has ever happened here.”
The changes are being led by Israel’s biggest food companies, including Tnuva, Strauss Group and Central Bottling Company, the local Coca-Cola bottlers. If the initiative is adopted by the Israel Food Association, the food makers division of the Israel Manufacturers Association trade group, the rules will apply to the entire industry.
The labeling initiative comes at a time when the food industry is reeling by Israeli consumers’ seemingly sudden shift to healthier eating. According to data from the big supermarket chains, sales of prepared, chilled hummus, which has borne the brunt of concerns over the healthfulness of prepared salads, have fallen 14% so far this year. Sales of processed meats have fallen even more sharply — by 25% for sausages and 23% for frozen meat.