Britain should adopt a labelling system similar to that used in Australia and New Zealand which helps consumers make healthy choices without stigmatising whole categories of food, claimed a nutrition marketing consultant.
Stephanie French, director of Harlequin Plus, told a meeting of the Food & Drink Innovation Network that the 'pick the tick' system, which had been operating Down Under for more than 10 years allowed comparisons between products in different categories and avoided "demonising" any one of them, as she claimed would happen under the proposed 'traffic light' system for the UK.
With 'pick the tick', items have to meet specific health criteria for their food categories before they can carry a tick symbol.
"We do not need to get bogged down on the details, just educate the public on what is healthy," said French. She added that manufacturers were "missing a massive opportunity" by failing to develop healthy, fortified foods which provided slow energy release.
"There is plenty of opportunity to be looking at Omega 3-fortified food and drinks," she said.
Savoury rather than sweet nutritional bars also deserved attention, said French: "Savoury nutritional bars are really a thing for the future."