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Rise in red labels will discourage consumers

By Nicholas Robinson+

29-Apr-2014
Last updated on 01-May-2014 at 11:34 GMT2014-05-01T11:34:45Z

Knee-jerk reaction to red labels
Knee-jerk reaction to red labels

Consumers need to be “trained” by brands and retailers to understand nutrition label changes, following increased pressure to reduce fat, salt and sugar, new research has shown.

If recommended levels were to carry on being lowered, then stating the percentage on pack, as part of the traffic-light scheme introduced last year, may not be productive, said Lindsay Peck of consumer insight firm Engage Research.

Consumers would have a knee-jerk reaction to a rise in red labels on products, she said and predicted the debate on healthy food labelling, aimed at encouraging healthy eating, would be reopened.

World Health Organisation

In March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) kept its 2002 recommendation that added sugars shouldn’t account for more than 10% of total energy intake, but said a 5% limit would be beneficial.

“It is going to be important to ensure that the consumer is educated to understand the information behind the headline WHO announcement,” she said.