Desang diabetes magazine diabetes diet, traffic light food labelling, Nutri-Score food label

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LIVING

dropped, when in use the Choices symbol was wellestablished

and trusted with high consumer awareness,

leading to instant recognition and acceptance at the

point of purchase. Covering 3,970 products across 29

categories over a four-year period, Maesen also found

that the use of a credible health symbol can be beneficial

for items within a product category already considered to

be healthy by consumers.

According to the study, manufacturers can gain a

sales boost of more than 8% by adding a credible health

symbol, such as Choices on the front of the pack, in

a healthy product category such as seeds or frozen

vegetables. In a product category that is generally

considered unhealthy by consumers, such as mayonnaise

or condiments, a health sticker can still generate a sales

uplift of around 3%. For products eligible to carry a

health symbol but don't, the absence is likely to make the

product more vulnerable to competition, the researchers

suggest. Within their study they found that adding the

health symbol to a product has a negative impact on

competitive products.

Health benefits

Dr Stijn Maesen, Assistant Professor of Marketing at

Imperial College Business School, says, "What's key to

this research is the credibility and acceptance of the

health accreditation programme associated with the

application of a health symbol. Looking at public health

policy, the study provides ample evidence of the value

to governments adopting or investing in a programmes

like that of Choices. Provided it is seen by consumers as

independent, scientifically robust and therefore trusted

as a relative measure of healthiness within an individual

category, the addition of a health symbol can persuade

consumers to switch to healthier options in an unhealthy

category without increasing demand overall, thus leading

to obvious public health benefits."

According to the researchers, the study is pivotal for

manufacturers, retailers and policymakers, looking at the

real-life context of volume sales on a broad scale, and

Addressing the difficulties consumers have with

Nutritional Food Panels, which are complex for

consumers to navigate when making quick purchasing

decisions, and when faced with an array of promotional

messages, the study points to clear benefits of accredited

health symbols on product packaging, tapping into the

growing trend for healthy food and beverages.

Keeping score

In another paper, Front-of-pack Nutri-Score labelling

in France: an evidence-based policy published in The

Lancet Public Health, it is said that, "Front-of-pack

labelling has been identified for several years by WHO

and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation

What is Nutri-Score?

European regulation n° 1169 /2011, also known as

the INCO regulation, establishes rules regarding the

provision of food information to consumers, allowing

the final consumer to get access to basic information

such as the nutritional declaration or the list of

ingredients. In order to facilitate the understanding

of these information, other forms of expression and

presentation or voluntary food information may

be provided in addition to the mandatory nutrition

declaration according to articles 35 to 37 of the

INCO regulation.

Following a request from the French Ministry

of Health, Santé Publique France created a front

of pack nutrition labelling system: the Nutri-Score

which can be affixed by producers on their products

on a voluntary basis. Nutri-Score was developed to

facilitate consumers' understanding of the nutritional

information and thus to help them in making

informed choices.

Nutri-Score has been first implemented in France

in 2017, based on work by the team of Pr Serge

Hercberg* as well as a expertise from the French

Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational

Health and Safety (ANSES) and the High Council

for Public Health (HCSP). Since then several

countries decided to recommend the label: Belgium,

Switzerland, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands

and Luxembourg.

The Nutri-Score is a front-of-pack label that

informs about the nutritional quality of a product,

in a simplified and complementary way with the

mandatory nutritional statement (as stated in

the INCO Regulation). It is based on a five-colour

nutritional scale, from dark green to dark orange. It

also has letters, from A to E, where A is better than E.

The logo is attributed according to the calculation of

a single and overall score that takes into account for

every 100 gr or 100 mL of food product the amount

of nutrients that should be limited: energy, saturated

fatty acid, sugars, salt as well as the amount of

nutrients and foods that should be encouraged (fibre,

proteins, fruits, vegetables, pulse, nuts, and rapeseed,

walnut and olive oils).

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