BOULDER, COLO. – Smart Balance is removing bioengineered ingredients from its flagship line of buttery spreads.
The Boulder Brands business unit revamped its ingredient sourcing and manufacturing processes to develop the G.M.O.-free products, which are launching this month with a full retail conversion planned by early summer.
The updated spreads are made with expeller-pressed oils from non-bioengineered seeds. Manufacturing plants and production processes were enhanced to ensure elimination of the ingredients. The new product will bear a prominent “non-G.M.O.” label and be offered for the same price as the original spread.
"Consumers are communicating strong desire for more transparency in their food ingredients, and that is leading to a growing demand for non-G.M.O. products," said Stephen Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer of Boulder Brands. "Consumers favor healthier, less processed foods with simpler ingredients. They think what we put in our food matters, and frankly, the same applies to what we leave out. We hear this echoed over and over by our consumers and we are committed to moving in this direction."
With millions of tubs of spread produced each year, the transition to non-bioengineered ingredients will result in the conversion of more than 20 million lbs of oils, the company said. Smart Balance is evaluating opportunities to remove bioengineered ingredients from other products, too, including mayonnaise dressing, cooking spray and cooking oils. The company’s natural peanut butter already is made using non-G.M.O. ingredients.
"Our goal is to work closely with industry leading partners to identify the resources and time required to convert our entire Smart Balance product line to non-G.M.O.,” Mr. Hughes said. “This is the start of a journey, and we're committed to seeing this through. We appreciate the trust consumers place in us to help enable more informed choices about the food they serve their families."Smart Balance, which launched in 1997, said it was the first leading spread to eliminate partially hydrogenated oils. Additionally, the company recently introduced packaging to improve store shelf efficiency and warehouse space, leading to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.