New logo in France for infant-suitable food and drink

The logo will help caregivers to be sure that the food they are giving their infant is safe and suitable for them

A new logo designed to make it easier to see which products are especially suitable for the nutritional needs of babies aged 0-3 is appearing on French supermarket shelves.

The logo features a white line drawing of a smiling baby wearing a bib, on a blue background. It denotes when a product complies with the nutritional needs of babies, according to the safety standard set by standardisation certification body l’Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR).

The logo will be featured on products that may not otherwise be obviously suitable for infants, as they may be sold in different areas of the supermarket to the usual “baby aisle”, for example.

It may be used on items such as dairy products, biscuits, and even frozen foods.

It is available for manufacturers to use voluntarily, and has been created with food manufacturing professionals. AFNOR has predicted that the logo could boost sales of infant-suitable food by up to 20%, but denied it was advertisting.

(AFNOR / https://normalisation.afnor.org)

The logo comes after a survey found that 70% of caregivers find it difficult to know what they should and should not feed their infants, especially if the food product in question is not obviously sold in the baby section.

The symbol is linked to its own website (in French), which can offer even more information.

It reads: “How should I best prepare a baby’s bottle? What age can I start giving the baby pieces of food? Can I give them raw food? Should I add salt to my baby’s food?”

Regulations and recommendations for infant food are often much stricter than those used for adult food.

For example, acceptable pesticide thresholds are 500 times’ more strict for infant food, as are permitted levels of additives and nitrates.

The logo will operate alongside other labels, such as the “organic/bio” marker, as it will specifically apply to infant nutritional needs.

Magali Bocquet, of children’s food manufacturer group le Secteur Français des Aliments de l’Enfance (SFAE), said: “Our members wanted to invest in this standard because it allows us to remind parents and caregivers that children have particular [nutritional] needs until the age of three.

“We now have different recommendations for when children begin to walk, when they are one year old...and parents [often] go against recommendations. The symbol will be used on products that respect regulations that are much more strict that normal foods.

“In this way, caregivers will know that a product is suitable for their infant. This is about information for consumers. It is not advertising, and it is not redundant next to the ‘organic/bio’ label."

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