The approval comes 3 years after Kellogg, a major player in the UK breakfast cereal category, petitioned the regulator to update guidelines for Vitamin D fortification for cereal products.
For Kellogg, adding vitamin D provides a beneficial, sought-after nutrient to products like cereal, which have long been dogged by a perception of unhealthiness and the new move could lead to a plethora of vitamin D-fortified innovations.
In a Federal Register notice, the FDA amended the food additive regulations to provide for the safe use of vitamin D3 as a nutrient supplement in fortified cereals and grain-based bars.
The amendment, which was published on January 5th, allows the addition of up to 560 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per 100 grams of cereal and up to 400 IU per 100 grams in grain-based bars.
Kellogg in a statement reiterated its commitment to addressing “hidden hunger,” that is the micronutrient deficiencies, through both inherent sources and fortification.
According to Kellogg, over 90% of Americans do not consume enough vitamin D. This results from insufficient levels from natural sources to provide the recommended intakes, creating a need for supplementation.
“Now, everyday foods, like cereal and grain-based bars, can go even further toward helping people access and consume Vitamin D, creating better days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030,” added Nigel Hughes, Kellogg Company’s Global R&D, and Innovation, SVP.
Recently, consumer awareness of the relationship between diet and health has led to a rise in demand for vitamin D-rich foods which are mostly associated with immune-boosting properties.
Further, during the Covid 19 pandemic, there were various studies on the role of vitamin D in protecting against the virus
For instance, a study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports highlighted that, vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 supplements reduced the risk of Covid-19 infection by 20% to 28%, respectively, and reduced the risk of death within 30 days by 33% and 25%.
As Kellogg’s aims to restore its market share in the cereal category after a disruptive period in late 2021 and early 2022, boosting healthy nutrients may be a way to differentiate its products from competitors.
It’s a strategy the company has adopted before when it added probiotics to several Special K cereal products in 2017 amid a period of sluggish sales.