Whole Grain Stamp makes way overseas

by Josh Sosland
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BOSTON — The Whole Grains Council is taking the Whole Grain Stamp program overseas.

Beginning this month, British Bakels, Bicester, U.K., will launch the first ever product outside of North America to carry the stamp. The stamp will be featured on British Bakels new Multi Wholegrain Bread Concentrate. According to British Bakels, Multi Wholegrain has four different types of grains and rye flour and contains a minimum of 29 grams of whole grain per serving.

"This marketing strategy clearly worked in the U.S. and we are confident it will also work in the U.K.," said Joy Kellaway, marketing manager for British Bakels. "We are providing our customers with shelf talkers, posters, consumer education leaflets and, most important of all, the stamp that they can use on their products. We’ll be promoting our links with the Whole Grains Council and using their expertise, which has helped drive the ‘phenomenal’ growth of whole grain in the United States.

"We are thrilled to be the first company outside North America to work with the Whole Grains Council. We believe their program will one day be as large here as it is in the United States."

Currently, more than 1,700 U.S. products bear the Whole Grain Stamp, which details the grams of whole grain in a serving of each food. Earlier this year, the stamp was introduced in Canada, where a bilingual version is used.

"This is potentially huge for the U.K. baking market," said Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for the W.G.C. "In the first nine months of 2007 alone, bakers worldwide launched more than 500 whole grain products, accounting for one-third of all new whole grain launches. Whole grain bread is wildly popular and we want to help U.K. bakers benefit from growing consumer interest."

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