Successful Whole Grain Stamp Program Expands

Bilingual Canadian Stamp and new Restaurant Menu Symbol Introduced

Boston, Feb. 5, 2008 — The Whole Grain Stamp will appear on more than three quarters of a billion food packages this year, helping consumers quickly and easily find whole grain products. To celebrate the third anniversary of the Stamp, Oldways and the Whole Grains Council are launching two major expansions of this popular and effective program. A bilingual version of the Whole Grain Stamp has been introduced for use in Canada, and a menu-friendly version is now available for restaurants.

Companies in both the United States and Canada are moving quickly to add this trusted consumer tool to their packaging. “We’ve been eagerly awaiting this news,” said Maria Emmer-Aanes, Director of Marketing for British Columbia-based Nature’s Path, a founding member of the Whole Grains Council. “We use the Whole Grain Stamp on scores of products in the U.S., as it helps consumers realize we’re big proponents of healthy food and whole grains. We’re already starting the process to use the bilingual Stamp in Canada.”

The Canadian Whole Grain Stamp uses the same eye-catching black and gold graphics found on its familiar U.S. cousin, but with the words “Grains Entiers” (French for “Whole Grains”) added. Introduction of the Canadian Stamp came after more than a year of discussions with Canadian authorities to better understand packaging regulations in that country.

Also new in January 2008, restaurants now have their own version of the Whole Grain Stamp, with the introduction of the Whole Grain Menu Symbol. The Menu Symbol features the signature grain-sheaf image from the Whole Grain Stamp, emblazoned with the words “Whole Grain.” “We pared down the Stamp to its essence so it will print clearly on menus,” said Cynthia Harriman, Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies for Oldways and the Whole Grains Council. “Now the consumer who looks for the Whole Grain Stamp in stores will be able to count on it while dining out.”

A December 2007 report from the Hartman Group titled “Label Reading from a Consumer Perspective,” which asked consumers questions about 13 packaging symbols, found that 60% of shoppers are aware of the Whole Grain Stamp, and that the Stamp is more trusted than all other symbols except the Heart Check, the USDA Organic Symbol, and standard Recycling symbols.

“The Whole Grain Stamp is one of those rare success stories in the world of changing eating habits,” said K. Dun Gifford, President of Oldways, the parent organization of the Whole Grains Council. “Now that we’ve expanded the program to Canada and to restaurants, we’re already exploring the possibility of an international version for use in other countries, especially in Europe where interest is high.”

The Whole Grain Stamp was introduced in January 2005, one week after the 2005 Dietary Guidelines first recommended that all Americans make at least half their grains whole. The Stamp now appears on over 1,600 products, with over 180 food companies – including eight based in Canada and six based in Europe – supporting this industry standard. A list of products using the Stamp can be seen at

For more details about the Whole Grain Stamp or any programs of Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, contact Jane Kuby, Press Officer, at 617-896-4888 ( Hi-resolution graphics of the Canadian Whole Grain Stamp and the Whole Grain Menu Symbol are available on request.


About The Whole Grains Council
The Whole Gains Council (WGC) is an Oldways’ educational program helping consumers achieve better health by increasing their consumption of quick, easy, and delicious whole grains.

The WGC’s many initiatives help individuals and families to find whole grain foods and to understand their health benefits; help the media to write accurate, compelling stories about whole grains; and help manufacturers to create a wide variety of appealing whole grain products.

The WGC was originated in 2003 by Oldways, the non-profit food issues think tank that creates and organizes a wide variety of programs and materials about healthy eating, drinking, lifestyles and the traditional pleasures of the table. Its educational programs are for consumers, scientists, the food industry, health professionals, chefs, journalists and policy makers.

You can learn more about the Whole Grains Council at For fact sheets, images, conference materials and more, please contact Jane Kuby, Oldways Press Officer, at 617-896-4888 or