Empowering the customer to make great choices – Responsibility for the Food Industry

Kate Cook of The Nutrition Coach has been helping progressive food companies make great products to authentically give their customers great choices for over a decade.

Among a portfolio of clients, Kate has worked with one major player in the food industry for around 9 years.  The company concerned is an extremely cutting edge and progressive company,  leaders in their field, providing great food mainly at lunchtime on the high street.  The company is not a health food shop but believes in giving their customers accesses to resources that give their customers a choice to follow healthier options.  The company concerned has worked extremely hard with the FSA to get their food within all the healthy guidelines – one of the very few outlets that really do bother to set on-going targets, and more importantly meet them.  Part of this commitment is to improve their offering in any way they can and keep innovating around the needs of their customer.  In this way, they have remained top of their game since the 1980’s when so many other businesses have struggled or failed.

Kate Cook has been able to provide some of the macro and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals)  analysis .  This provides a breakdown of what is in the food in terms of nutrient value. It’s the micro nutrient analysis that is key. Micronutrients are key because it is these tiny elements that are essential to health.  Of course the calories (and therefore macronutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) are vital to know,  but it’s not the only thing that is important when the public is trying to make informed choices.

great choices

If the guideline given is only on the calories,  poor choices potentially can be made. Think of a low calorie diet range sandwich, white bread made with chicken of uncertain origin.  It might be low calorie but what about the quality?  What about the micro nutrients vital for health?  Choosing low calories a low calorie sandwich of this nature might make you extremely hungry later in the day, so that diving into the biscuit tin become inevitable.  Of course a sandwich with avocado into is going to be much higher calorie, but you are fuller for longer and the biscuit tin surge in the afternoon is avoided!   Low calorie food can be devoid of sufficient nutrient value.  The key is making great choices taking into account the calories – i.e. to look much more holistically at the whole food, not breaking it down into specific components which on their own don’t make full sense.

The press tend to leap on a story and worry it to death like a terrier with a rat – being able to really know about the food you are offering and offer authentic information to journalists and the public is key – in this way you are able to look at the full picture objectively and in context.    Once you fully understand the food you are offering then never ending improvement is vital.  The Public have to be able to genuinely trust the source of their food.  The Food Industry has duty to provide excellent information to help the Public make good choices and earn that vital ingredient, trust.


Kate Cook is on the advisory board of the magazine “Ingredient Insight” and runs the Food consultancy division of The Nutrition Coach.   If you want to get in touch about how you can optimise the healthy choices for your customers: kate@katecook.biz

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