Tesco adopts food traffic light labellingNew labels will help identify healthy foods

22 August 2012

Tesco shop

Which? and food campaigning groups welcomed an announcement by Tesco today agreeing to adopt the 'traffic light' labelling system on food packaging.

Tesco has pledged to scrap it's old system of using pastel colours in favour of the red, amber and green traffic light scheme.

Executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd, said: 'Which? has long been campaigning for supermarkets and manufacturers to improve nutritional information on packaging, so this is a positive step from Tesco.'

The supermarket chain has promised to adopt a hybrid food labelling system that combines bright traffic light colours with guideline daily allowances (GDA) for key ingredients.

This means that shoppers should be able to see at a glance whether the levels of salt, sugar, and fat in their food are high, medium or low. They will also be able to see what percentage of their GDA is in each pack.  

Asda, Co-op, M&S, Waitrose

Some supermarkets already include traffic light colours as well as GDAs on their food – Asda, Waitrose, The Co-operative and M&S all do this. Sainsbury's displays traffic light colours, but Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl display only GDAs.

The government has recently consulted on front of pack labelling and Which? wants it to issue a strong recommendation to all food retailers and manufacturers to include traffic lights on the front of food packaging. 

Which? research shows that the traffic light labelling system is the best way to help consumers make informed choices about what they buy.

Traffic light labelling and obesity  

Richard Lloyd added: 'With obesity levels on the increase it's more important than ever that people know what's in their food so they can make an informed choice. Which? wants all food retailers and manufacturers to include traffic lights on food packaging.'

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