Starting from January next year, the maker of Coco Pops and Frosties will opt into the voluntary Government scheme. It said the change was made after “listening” to consumers, retailers and the Government.
Managing director Oli Morton said: “Put simply, they said we should change and move to a full colour solution as they want help making healthy decisions. We've listened and now we’re acting.”
Products such as Crunchy Nut, Rice Krispies, Special K and Corn Flakes will be the first to include the new labelling scheme, with the rollout to be completed by early 2020.
However, this will only apply to about 80% of the company’s products. This was due to some products being sold in several European countries with multilingual boxes.
Foundation of healthy choices
Public Health England chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said the organisation was pleased Kellogg’s was adding traffic light labelling to its packaging – information it claimed formed the foundation of healthy choices.
“This announcement highlights the importance of helping consumers to make informed choices and we hope other companies will follow suit,” said Tedstone.
Action on Sugar researcher and nutritionist Kawther Hashem also welcomed Kellogg’s adoption of the labelling system, but raised concerns over it not applying to 20% of the manufacturer’s products.
“Mandatory colour-coded labels are one of the most effective ways to communicate nutrition information for fat, salt, sugar and calories,” added Hashem.
“This would ensure companies are held accountable, which would drive reformulation and healthier product development.”
These concerns were echoed by consumer rights group Which?, calling for the new nutrition labels to apply to all the brand’s products sold in the UK and Ireland, not just 80% of them. One way to do this would be for the Government to force manufacturers to comply with labelling regulations, it said.
Sue Davies, strategic policy adviser, said: “The Government should now use Brexit as an opportunity to introduce legislation that makes traffic light labelling mandatory as part of an approach based on high food standards and aimed at boosting the nation’s health and well-being.”
Using Brexit as a springboard for the UK to take control of food legislation was a motion supported by Phil Dalton, head of regulatory at Sun Branding Solutions.
Speaking at Food Matters Live last week, Dalton said Brexit would provide regulators the opportunity to address the difficulties people, in general, have in using the information provided to make more effective food choices.