ST. LOUIS -- Beech-Nut Nutrition here is beating a better-for-your-baby bongo, with an independent study as backup.
In September, the baby food manufacturer ran an advertisement in the major markets it serves, citing a report conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. That's because the report -- which principally criticized the contents of baby food produced by major branders -- had some positive words for Beech-Nut.
Under the heading of "Important News For Parents!" Beech-Nut quoted the April, 1995, CSPI study: "In general, Beech-Nut . . . baby foods were nutritionally superior to Gerber and Heinz, using more whole foods, fewer fillers and less added salt and sugar."
The ad -- which instructed consumers to "Compare labels, see for yourself." -- also featured CSPI statistics on the sugar and modified starch content of products by its competitors, and a Helpline number that also quotes the report.
According to Pat Farrell, vice president of corporate affairs, Beech-Nut didn't want to let grass grow under its feet, and felt the timing was right for the ad, since CSPI is an outside source with no allegiance to the company.
"The CSPI report did a good job of highlighting what we've said all along about the differences between Beech-Nut and our competitors, and the benefits of our products," said Farrell.
"CSPI is an independent, aggressive consumer advocacy organization and an independent source. So the timing was right for the ad."