Carrefour Italia has decided to follow the example set by retailers such as Coop and Esselunga, and released a range of palm-oil-free private-label biscuits.
Consumers can now find eight types of private-label biscuits and cookies made without palm oil in Carrefour Italia stores. By the end of this year, the retailer plans to introduce another 12 variants.
The decision taken by the retailers has also been matched by some food producers in Italy, such as Colussi, which eliminated palm oil from its Misura biscuit line in favour of sunflower oil.
Just recently, Italy’s National Health Institute (ISS) warned against the excessive consumption of products that contain this type of fat, “not because it has specific components that can be harmful, but for the high degree of saturated fat content, equal to approximately 50 per cent of the total”.
According to the ISS, high consumption of this type of fat "has adverse effects on health, in particular, an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease".
However, the newly established Italian Union for Sustainable Palm Oil has launched a massive advertising campaign that will last for three weeks. The association is funded by three large palm-oil users, Ferrero, Nestlé and Unilever, as well as Italian company Unigrà, which imports palm oil, processes it, and distributes it to the food sector.
According to association president Giuseppe Allocca, the campaign aims to debunk alarmism by “getting out a simple and reassuring message to Italian consumers”.
The message is that palm oil is “a vegetable oil of natural origin, known and used for 5,000 years, created from the pressing of only the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm, which does not present health risks when eating a balanced diet, and that, if produced sustainably, helps to respect nature and local communities".
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.