Traffic-light: a spotlight on nutritional information

In Europe, several nutritional information systems coexist on food packaging. The goal being to offer better information to consumers. Some examples are the nutri-score, nutri-repère and SENS systems, each with their own advantages and limitations.

The “traffic light” system has been in place on products from the United Kingdom for more than 5 years. It’s currently present on 2/3 of British food products. This nutritional labelling system indicates a food product’s nutritional quality according to 5 criteria in the form of oval shapes on the front of its packaging.

The first shape indicates the product’s calorie content and the following 4 shapes indicate the sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt levels. The proportion of these nutrients is calculated per serving of the food, as is the contribution to the recommended daily intake, expressed as a percentage and an absolute value. The red, yellow or green color of the shape varies depending on whether the criterion level is high, medium or low.

Traffic light, des feux de signalisation sur les étiquettes

A classification that has its limits in terms of nutritional information: olive oil gets a low score due to its fat content, despite it being a nutritionist-recommended oil.

Buying behavior: which food data is important?

A recent study conducted by the University of Birmingham shows that 83% of consumers take the traffic light label into account. Most consumers read labels quickly, spending just milliseconds on average in reading time.

While some think that there’s too much information, others want to know more about a product’s environmental impact. This missing information could directly influence buying behavior.

Consumers are guided by their habits and tastes when making food product purchases, no doubt. But they’re becoming more than just consumers, now responsible for their health and the health of our planet!

With Youmeal, you can provide food information with real added value to consumers, including environmental impact. Youmeal analyzes, enhances and optimizes food and environmental data. Whatever your job, Youmeal can help you.