Increased communication with consumers needed to dispel food myths

Allidura Consumer, the health and wellness agency, hosted an event last week calling for more co-operation between food and drink manufacturers, retailers and the media.

It is hoped this will dispel consumer confusion about healthy eating, a panel of experts concluded at the event.

The round-table event in London on 24 June 2009 brought together leading journalists and industry experts to debate ways in which the food industry could rebuild confidence and trust among consumers often facing conflicting messages on a daily basis.

The panel was chaired by Kate Trollope, editor of EU Food Law and included former editor of The Grocer, Clive Beddall OBE; Johanna Hignett, nutritionist and former head of science communication for Nestlé; national newspaper science correspondent, Jerome Burne; Jane Symons, health writer for The Sun and Sian Porter of the British Dietetic Association. 

Before an invited audience of manufacturers, retailers, food industry bodies and journalists, they considered the diverse issues that can fuel consumer confusion over food and diet, including labeling, advertising to children, the role of science and increasing legislation.

Beddall said at the event: ‘The food chain has started to come together, but there is still an amazing amount of ignorance within the industry of how the media actually works. A lot of food manufacturers don't have a clue how to communicate to consumers.'

Allidura Consumer MD Alison Dunlop agreed and said: ‘Consumer confusion is undoubtedly affecting the food and drink industry.   As communicators, our aim is to stimulate the debate to help find solutions to the challenges they face.  We wholeheartedly endorse the conclusions of our expert panel and remain fully committed to enabling manufacturers, retailers and the media to engage in more effective, consistent dialogue moving forwards.'


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