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The Choices Programme

Unilever, Ahold and Heineken:  Partnership in healthy food choice

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‘Vinkje’ – a front-of-pack logo known by almost everybody in the Netherlands

Marking food products with ‘Vinkje’ logo is not any exception in Dutch stores. According to researches, over 90% of Dutch people are familiar with this mark of quality. However, marking with ‘Vinkje’ logo exceeds Dutch borders. ‘Vinkje’ represents Dutch variation of Choices logo which belongs to the global programme marking nutritionally valuable food products called The Choices Programme.

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Logo ‘Vím, co jím’– a parallel to ’Vinkje’ is gaining strength in the Czech Republic

The Czech equivalents of ‘Vinkje’ logo are ‘Vím, co jím’ for food products and ‘Vím, co piju’ for beverages. And it is the Czech initiative ‘Vím, co jím a piju’ which, even if the youngest from the Choices family, is quickly gaining importance and expanding thanks to new partners.

The Choices Programme is a global, front-of-pack food information initiative designed to help consumers to easily select healthy food and beverage options. It was introduced in the Netherlands in 2006 as a response to the World Health Organisation’s call for food industry to take an active role in helping to tackle the growing problem of obesity and diet-related diseases.,’ describes the head of the Czech initiative, Ing. Lucie Gonzálezová.

Among the members of The Choices Programme in the Netherlands, as well as in the Czech Republic, we can find important companies such as Unilever, Ahold and Heineken.

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Unilever joined The Choices Programme at the very beginning.   

We consider logo ‘Vím, co jím’ to be the right way to show customers that our products really represent the right choice. For example, margarines Rama and Flora belong to the best ones in their category and the logo ‘Vím, co jím’ can only support the fact. In the long term, we are trying to adjust our recipes in such a way that our food products are up to the standards of a healthy life-style.,’ says doc. Ing. Jiří Brát, CSc., Manager for Development and Quality, Unilever CR.

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Another partner with Dutch experience with Choices logo is Ahold, who became the partner of the project in CR last year.

In our stores in the Netherlands the products marked with Choices logo are perceived very positively and in long-term we find they have a positive shopping response,’ explains Ing. Pavel Mikoška, CSc., Director of Quality, and continues: ‘Labelling of chosen products with corresponding and comprehensible logo seems to be the simplest way to help customers get oriented easily. Customers who are interested in eating according to healthy diet standards will then have the possibility to buy preferably the product which convey to such standards without having to study tediously their exact composition.’

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The most recent partner of the Czech initiative is Heineken, who marked its non-alcoholic beer Zlatopramen N.A.

‘Our beer is made with the ingredients of highest quality and follows original recipes. It is important for us to be able to present and explain this to our customers,’ unveils the motive for joining the initiative Jiří Hauptmann, Head of Corporate Relations and Public Affairs, HEINEKEN Czech Republic.

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And what is the vision of the Czech initiative for the future? 

‘We strive for making logo ‘Vím, co jím’ a broadly acknowledged, respected, transparent, and reliable symbol for the healthy food choice in the Czech Republic,’ answered Robert Svoboda, chairman of ‘Vím, co jím a piju’, o.p.s.
The initiative has 130 partners worldwide with more than 7000 products marked with Choices logo.  18 partners have joined the project in the Czech Republic so far and there are almost 250 products approved to use the logo. 
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