This is an excerpt reprinted with permission from The Hagstrom Report, a news service providing original national and international agricultural news to its subscribers.
Food companies that signed agreements with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in 2011 to develop healthier school foods at competitive prices have seen substantial and continual increases in sales, according to data released early today by the alliance, a joint project of the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.
Total school sales of Alliance-compliant products by participating manufacturers grew by $130 million, from $182 million in the 2010-11 school year to $312 million in the 2012-13 school year, according to sales and marketing data submitted to Keybridge, an independent firm hired to measure whether manufacturers and group purchasing organizations are holding to their commitments.
This represented an increase of 71 percent while sales of non-compliant products decreased from $781 million to $756 million, or minus 3 percent over the same time period, Keybridge said.
Alliance-compliant product sales represented nearly a third (29 percent) of all school food sales by participating manufacturers during the 2012-13 school year. This was a 10 percentage point increase from 19 percent of sales the year before.
Sales of Alliance-compliant grain products (those with at least 51 percent whole grain) grew fourfold between the two years, increasing from $12 million to $66 million (up 465 percent).
Sales of Alliance-compliant fish, meat, and non-meat products also grew over the same period of time, increasing from $127 million to $169 million, an increase of 33 percent.
The manufacturers that took part are AdvancePierre, Aryzta, Asian Food Solutions, BakeCrafters, ConAgra Foods (including ConAgra Foodservice, JM Swank, and Lamb Weston), High Liner Foods, JTM Food Group, McCain Foods USA, Rich Products Corporation, Tasty Brands, Trident Seafoods and Tyson Foods, and the group purchasing organizations are HPS, Premier and Provista.
The alliance noted in a news release that its agreements with food companies were signed in 2011, before implementation of federal nutrition standards under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.
The group is holding its annual summit at the Washington Hilton this weekend.
This evening former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to greet the 250 leaders from schools in 30 states participating in the program, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
On Saturday, there will be a ceremony for schools winning awards, a fitness event, a discussion and an awards banquet at which the honorees will include Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon.
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