‘Traffic lights’ on British food labels

‘Traffic lights’ on British food labels

The three food giants PepsiCo, Mars and Nestlé and most British supermarkets are introducing a system of ‘traffic lights’ on food products they sell in the United Kingdom. With this they follow the British government, who wanted consumers to be informed better.

Voluntary initiative

The system of traffic lights adds a colour code to the food label, so the consumer can see instantly if the quantities of fats, saturated fats, sugars and salt are high, average or low. In 2010 it seemed this system would become obligated in the European Union, but parliament did not follow through, under pressure of the food lobby.

 

The British government and health services did however like the concept: research has shown that consumers better understand these colour codes than the regular labelling with numbers and percentages per portion and as such, they insisted on introducing this system on a national level.

 

The majority of British retailers (Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, the Co-operative, Waitrose and Tesco) have, together with a number of large producers (among them the British division of PepsiCo, Mars, Nestlé, Premier Foods and McCain), instated these colour codes on a voluntary basis. The participating companies together have a market share of 60% in food. Not all producers like the system though: Coca-Cola and Cadbury have rejected the system.

 

Rest of Europe?

“In times where obesity is a big problem in Europe, we see no reason why such an easy tool – that informs fast and clearly – should only be reserved for consumers in those countries”, says Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation.

 

“By obligating themselves to implement the traffic light system, these popular producers and brands finally listen to the consumer and they recognise their right for fast and clear information. This is a true revolution. And these food giants should also implement this on the other European markets”, says Monique Goyens.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Arket Brussels opens: discover H&M's latest concept

14/09/2017

On Friday 15 September, H&M Group’s new store formula opens its doors on the Guldenvlieslaan in Brussels. The press got a sneak preview and discovered a surprising mixture of fashion, interior design and food. 

Nordstrom opens store without storage

13/09/2017

American fashion chain Nordstrom is to trial a new store formula in Los Angeles next month, in which customers will only be able to get advice and try out clothing. Purchases can be picked up at the store at a later date.

Primark benefits from weaker British economy

12/09/2017

Irish fashion chain Primark takes full advantage of the weak British economy, which prompted its parent company AB Foods to adjust its full-year forecast. The chain will also continue its expansion plans.

Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen invests in FNG

11/09/2017

Government investment fund Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen (PMV) will invest 15 million euro in fashion group FNG in return for 5 % of its shares. The money will go towards international expansion.

Gap Inc will focus on Old Navy and Athleta

08/09/2017

American fashion company Gap will alter its internal strategy and turn its attention to Old Navy and Athleta. Gap and Banana Republic, which both received the most attention up until now, will have to step aside.

Global Fashion Group cuts losses

08/09/2017

Global Fashion Group, the fashion group founded by investment group Kinnevik and Rocket Internet, managed to lower its losses even more in the second quarter. On top of that, turnover grew more than 25 %.

Back to top