While some packaging already employs the traffic light system on their nutritional information, a new more consistent system is to be rolled out in a bid to help people make healthier choices. The system will show how much salt, sugar, fat and calories are in each product.
This system is however remaining a voluntary one, and it is expected that only 60% of foods will be covered. The announcement has come after 10 years of debate and has been warmly welcomed by consumer groups.
Previous to this new labelling a range of different systems were used, partly because of issues getting industry leaders to agree on one system and partly because the agreement needed to be made on a European level.
Months of talks and a public consultation have finally resulted in the latest system. One of the key features of the new labels is the inclusion of colour coding. According to research from the Food Standards Agency consumers prefer this type of traffic light labelling as it offers important information at a glance.
The new labels are set to be rolled out across major food groups over the next 18 months. Big name retailers including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s are all set to use the new labelling system on own brand foods as well as other manufacturers including Nestle, Mars and PepsiCo.
Not all food companies are going to be using the system however. Among those not to have signed up are Cadbury and Coca-Cola, both of which believe the use of guideline daily amounts is a better system.
If you want to know more about what goes into your food and how to make healthier choices, it may be worth speaking to a qualified nutritionist. To find out more, please see our Healthy Eating page.
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