New drive to highlight traffic light labelsGovernment launches advertising campaign

14 January 2008

The government is stepping up its bid to get shoppers to look for and use front of pack nutritional traffic light labels.

New TV advertisements highlighting the benefits of the red, amber and green traffic light labels will air on GMTV for the next three weeks.

The adverts are part the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) high profile campaign to remind shoppers how the labels can make healthier eating easier.

Buses up and down the country will also be displaying traffic light ads throughout January.

Nutritional value

Extensive consumer research by both Which? and the FSA has shown that traffic light labelling is the simplest way to interpret a product’s nutritional value.

Major stores such as Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and M&S, as well as producers like  McCain and New Covent Garden Food agree.

But others like Tesco, Morrisons, Kellogg's, Nestle and Kraft are backing the rival guideline daily amount (GDA) labelling scheme.

Which? believes companies rejecting the more user-friendly traffic lights on their labels are making it harder for their customers to make healthier choices.

Shopping card

Which? Chief Policy Adviser Sue Davies said: ‘At this time of year, when everyone is making resolutions to eat healthily, it’s the job of manufacturers and retailers to make it as easy as possible for them to figure out what the label says.

‘Those who insist on using the GDA system should at least add the traffic light colours to their labels.’