The UK color-coding food label appears questionable

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  • October 30, 2014

regulatory and quality

UK new color label has been seen on shelves for few months and is already criticized. The voluntary system means well; it will help people make healthier food choices.

How it works?

The system uses red, orange and green color-coding to signal whether 100g of a food product has a high, medium or low content of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar relative to an adult’s maximum recommended daily amount. For instance, a “red light” in the fat category appears if the contents exceed 17.5g total fat for 100g product. So, normally, the more green lights, the healthier the food.

Too simple to explain product composition and real nutrition value

Olive oil and cheese are considered good for your health, even though they contain fat. Their color labeling is nearly completely red; consequently, producers are suffering from the new UK system. On the other hand, Diet Coke is full green and regular Coke has only one part red (sugar).

European Commission opens infraction proceedings against UK labeling system. It creates a distortion in consumer understanding. It could lead consumers to avoid certain foods because of a red light on package and think a full green light is good for them. Creating a negative inference on a product in a way which shows that the product is inferior may affect the consumer’s perception of a product. Consequently this creates obstacles to trade which are in violation of EU law.

To assist food and beverage companies to inform their consumers and be in compliance with local and global regulations, Lascom CPG provide a packaged solution including:

  • A quality module to comply with regulations and automatically generate claims
  • A robust NPD module to reduce time to market and ease formulation. It also automatically generates labeling with ingredient list and nutritional value regarding a defined template
  • Reporting tools to efficiently manage product portfolio

To learn more, visit lascom.com

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