Our food and drink labels are changing. Here’s what you need to know.
New food labels are appearing on our food and drink products from September 2013. This is due to a new food labelling law and a new government front-of-pack nutrition labelling scheme. So, what should you look for?
The new traffic light label
Front-of-pack nutrition labels are changing from the ‘wheel’ to a new-look lozenge and will now include information on the percentage of the Reference Intake (RI), alongside the traffic light colours.
The lozenge still shows if products have high (red), medium (amber) or low (green) amounts of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar. For healthier eating, go for more greens and ambers, and fewer reds.
What are the labelling changes?
- The term ‘Reference Intake’ (RI) is replacing the term ‘Guideline Daily Allowance’ (GDA).
- Energy (calories and kilojoules) will no longer be colour-coded.
- Kilojoules (kJ) are also shown alongside calories (kcal) on the front of packs and are being shown per 100g, as well as per portion.
- The order of nutrition information in the nutrition table on the back of packs is also changing.
- The new labels refer to ‘saturates’ instead of ‘sat fat’, ‘sugars’ not ‘sugar’ and ‘salt’ rather than ‘sodium’.
- You may notice a change to some traffic light colours on certain products. This is because the government criteria determining the colours have changed, it’s not necessarily because the product’s recipe has changed.
- For a short while as we transfer to the new labels, you might notice that traffic light colours and other information could differ on our groceries website from the same product on-shelf, therefore always read the label.
Did you know…
- If a serving of the product contains more than 30% of your reference intake the traffic light will be red.
- It is estimated that on average people in the UK consume 200 extra calories a day (the equivalent of a plain digestive biscuit and packet of crisps). This could lead to a one and a half stone weight gain in a year!