Although many major food manufacturers in the snack food and bakery sectors acted quickly to reduce or eliminate trans fats, others took more time to weigh their options and come up with a workable plan. Several of these “dawdlers” made headlines when they announced plans to reduce or eliminate trans fats from their products or certain brands just weeks before the labeling compliance deadline:
The Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., said it would replace trans fat-producing oils with low-linolenic soybean oil in products such as its Cheez-It crackers and Pop-Tarts toaster pastries. The company said it would use a soy oil processed from low-linolenic soybeans that reduces the need for partial hydrogenation. Kellogg plans to introduce the first of its reformulated products early this year.
ConAgra Foods, Omaha, Neb., announced plans to remove all trans fat from most of its Orville Redenbacher’s and ACT II microwave popcorn products by February, with the rest of the products making the trans fat-free transition by the end of this year. The company previously reformulated its soft margarine lines to eliminate trans fat.
Several varieties of popular Girl Scout cookies are getting a makeover in 2006. According to reports, Thin Mints, Caramel deLites and Peanut Butter Patties will be sans the trans when they are delivered door-to-door this year.
Meanwhile, Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods announced the successful completion of its multi-year voluntary trans fat reduction effort across its product lines, including the Oreo cookie, which had presented a formulation challenge.