The Food Standards Agency will launch a campaign to promote ‘traffic light’ food labels in an effort to help consumers make healthier choices.
An advertising agency is putting together ideas for TV commercials that are due to launch in January.
It comes after a coalition of food manufacturers and retailers set out plans to publicise their rival food-labelling system.
Traffic light labels are colour-coded to show high, medium and low levels of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Traffic light labels
The scheme – which is recommended by the Food Standards Agency and supported by Which? – has split the food industry.
Its supporters include Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, the Co-op, M&S and Asda.
But a coalition of 21 manufacturers and three retailers have rejected the traffic light scheme in favour of labels showing ‘guideline daily amounts’ (GDAs) of the key nutrients.
These include Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Unilever, Tesco, Somerfield and Morrisons.
They say the traffic light system puts shoppers off buying products that carry even one red-coloured symbol.
A Food Standards Agency spokeswoman said the content of its new adverts hadn’t yet been decided.
In November this year, the Food and Drink Federation, which represents food manufacturers, set out plans for an 18-month publicity drive to promote GDA labels.
It said that 37 per cent of ‘relevant’ UK food and drink packs on sale in shops would carry the GDA labels by the end of this year.