Tue | Dec 12, 2017

National empowering consumers to choose ‘balance’

Published:Monday | November 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Health, Dr Chris Tufton (left) and director of operations at National Baking Company going head to show who’s fitter.
Donnette, Hines, marketing manager, National Baking Company, speaking at the launch of ‘Balance Your Life’ last Tuesday.
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Hot on the heels of its 'Balance Your Life' campaign, the National Baking Company says it will be moving towards a holistic, 360-degree approach in providing customers with useful information on what they are consuming and arming them with data to make informed choices.

Addressing last Tuesday's launch at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, Marketing Manager at National Baking Company Donnette Hines said 'Balance Your Life' represents another bold step being taken by National, as leaders in the baked goods industry, to support their consumers in finding and creating the ultimate balance in their lives.

"Balance Your Life is a recognition that we do try our best, but sometimes we don't get one or two things. Sometimes we don't quite hit the mark and as part of our responsibility as leaders in the industry, we thought it very important to use the opportunity to educate our consumers and encourage them along that journey towards balance," Hines said.

The journey started before this, however. Currently, National has undergone two key changes in creating this balance - clear calorie labels and reducing sugar content. Hines pointed to the fact that the company has made a switch from the original calorie content, written in fine print and tucked away in a small corner of the package. Now, consumers have access to the information at their fingertips, boldly written.

"You know exactly the number of calories that you're getting per serving in the product that we are offering, and this information, really, is our commitment to giving our consumers the information they need to make those informed choices; and that's really at the core of our promise in this campaign," Hines stressed.

 

Reducing the sugar content

 

The second step taken by National was reducing the sugar content in its products. This the company has done using its staple product, bread, as the first of many.

Deliberate in its approach, the company recognised that bread is a staple in many Jamaican homes and decided to start where it matters most.

"As market leaders, we recognise that there's a high possibility that every home in Jamaica is likely to have and consume a National bread at some point. It's a product that is so important in the lives of Jamaicans. When you decide to choose a loaf of bread, you now have the option to choose one that has 33 per cent reduced sugar, and if it is that you want the regular hardough bread, you have an option to make along your journey," Hines explained.

Urges a holistic approach to the balancing act

With its 33 per cent reduced sugar content in its hardough bread now an option for consumers, in response to their changing needs and lifestyles, National is encouraging consumers to go even further. This includes taking a holistic approach to their lives. The campaign rests on four key pillars - eat, move, play and rest.

"We are inviting our consumers to play an active role in achieving their best selves - to keep active, knowing that 30 minutes of exercise daily is sufficient to reduce the risk of some of the major non-communicable diseases in our society. Diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease," Marketing Manager at National Baking Company Donnette Hines said.

Consumers are also being encouraged to play because lifestyles are changing rapidly and people are becoming more stressed.

"The truth is, studies have indicated that stress is a major contributor to unhealthy eating habits and we want our consumers to pause for a moment and reconnect with the people you love, because when you reduce stress, you're giving yourself an opportunity to actually truly decide to make informed and wise choices for your overall well-being," Hines said.

Additionally, consumers, through the campaign, are being encouraged to get adequate rest.

"Studies have shown that seven to eight hours of sleep will increase brain performance and fight the hunger urges that sometimes lead to unhealthy eating habits," Hines said.

It is important to note that the campaign is not being positioned as a health campaign, but as one that educates consumers about how to make these wise choices, highlighting the power of dietary goal setting, understanding food labels, and reinforcing the value of physical and mental wellness in everyday life.

"At the end of the day, balance is merely a choice and as individuals, we need to make that effort to create balance in our own lives everyday," Hines noted.