A supermarket in Western Australia is the first in Australia to partner with Additive Free Kids to label additive-free products in-store.
With concerns growing about the negative effects of food additives on kids, Wembley SUPA IGA is helping families to decipher food labels quickly and easily.
Over 7,200 products have been reviewed and over 1,400 items identified as additive free in the store, taking 140 hours over a period of 2 months.
Managing director for Additive Free Kids, Francine Bell said that it can be difficult to understand product labels.
“Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to identify harmful additives on product labels. The labels don’t always tell the whole story,” Bell said.
Manufacturers are able to list additives by either name or number, meaning a consumer has to know both to be able to decipher them.
“The current labeling laws allow any ingredient constituting less than 5% of the product to be omitted from the label, which makes it very difficult even for a dedicated consumer,” Bell added.
Bell said that while manufacturers might list an ingredient like margarine, they don’t need to stipulate all the ingredients included in that margarine if it makes up less than 5% of the product. Therefore, an ingredient that contain additives such as colours, preservatives or antioxidants, might not be declared on the label.
Co-owner of Wembley SUPA IGA Deryck Kippen said it is important to be able to help parents feed their children healthier food and the response from customers has been outstanding.
“We have always been dedicated to offer a large variety of quality fresh and health food options to our customers but we wanted to go one step further. Being able to make something a little easier on parents shopping and contribute with a healthier lifestyle is an important part of the way we we do business,” Kippen said.
If the community response continues to be positive the project will expand to another five grocery stores in the group, including Canning Bridge IGA and The Good Grocer stores in Applecross, Leederville, Shenton Park and (soon to open) South Perth.