ICA has strict requirements stating that certain substances must not be used in its products, and carefully monitors scientific reports and new findings concerning these substances, while at the same time being alert to customers’ concerns about other potentially harmful substances. ICA Sweden phased out the plastic bisphenol A (BPA) a number of years ago in cash register receipts, baby bottles and other children’s products, plastic food containers and certain packaging. Cartons are now used instead of tins. Additives such as azo dyes are banned entirely from foods in ICA’s range, while some solid fats containing trans fats were phased out of ICA Sweden’s range back in the early 2000s. The flavour enhancer MSG is used only in a few Asian-style products.
Alternatives for people with allergies
The number of customers in the Group's Nordic markets who have allergies or sensitivity to certain foods is increasing. ICA works to offer these customers a wide range of food products adapted for allergy sufferers. To make things easier for customers, ICA Sweden's products are clearly labelled, the stores have clear signs showing where allergy-friendly products can be found and recipes on ICA.se have tips for allergy sufferers. To further support customers with allergies there are also cards and brochures on various allergies. Printed versions are distributed and the information is also available online.
In Sweden and Norway products free from sensitive ingredients like gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts and soy are labelled with "Free from" (Fri från). ICA Sweden’s “Free from” range offers around 770 allergy-friendly products.
During the year ICA Sweden was the first in the market to launch gluten-free private label grocery products. The Swedish Coeliac Society has been calling for this to happen for a number of years. By offering more products to choose from at attractive prices, ICA can make life easier and more inspiring for those with a gluten intolerance. During the year eight new gluten-free items – mainly pasta and bread – were launched under the ICA brand. The number of lactose-free products was increased to 17.
ICA’s nutritionist and Senior Health Manager in Sweden won an award from the Swedish Coeliac Youth Society (SCUF) for her work on ICA’s range of gluten-free and lactose-free products.