Nestlé and Netherlands opt for Nutri-Score
Having been a member of the UK food and drink industries’ Nutrition Labelling Working Group back in the early 1980s, it puzzles me that there is still so much confusion and so little agreement on the best policy.
The original approach of presenting facts in a comparable panel seemed to have become inadequate as obesity continued to rise.
Traffic lights then became viewed as a more direct call to action. Visually unavoidable.
Parts of Latin America are now moving towards health warning labels.
The past few weeks, however, could mark a turning point in favour of the Nutri-Score.
This is akin to a graded traffic light but takes account of multiple factors, which add up to or balance out the final score. The key elements are calories, sugars, saturated fat, salt, protein and fibre as well as fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes.
The scheme was developed in France. It has since been adopted in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. Nestlé recently decided to roll it out across Europe. The Netherlands has just adopted it.
Naturally, there are details to reconcile. But having a single multi-country scheme has many advantages and I would much prefer a uniform system that has a chance of shaping better behaviour than another 30 years of confusion.