Changes across the UK and the EU – heralded by the introduction of the ban on multibuy deals for food high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) in the UK by October 2023 and a mandatory labelling scheme in the EU due to come into operation by the end of 2022 – could be the key to help manufacturers innovate, Griffith Foods posited.
To date, front of pack nutrition labelling in the EU has been voluntary, but a proposal for a harmonised mandatory scheme would likely see Nutri-Score win out as the labelling scheme of choice.
Mandatory labelling concerns
“It’s accepted that mandatory nutrition labelling on the Front of Pack will have a major impact for food manufacturers,” said Griffith Foods.
“This will likely include the redesign of most food packaging, for all concerned food categories, the reformulation of food products to improve the nutritional score without compromising taste and texture alongside the development of regulatory and technical knowledge.”
This ultimately will lead to a number of considerations for food and drink manufacturers that operate in the HFSS space. And while UK firms may be more concerned with the sweeping changes happening in their home countries, there is both concern and opportunity born from the developments in Europe.
“Certainly, there is opportunity to get ahead of these changes and start to address product and portfolio reformulation now,” Griffith Foods explained. “If a Nutri-Score B is likely to become the industry standard.
“The role of product development partners to support the industry cannot be overstated. It’s their technical expertise to reduce sodium and sugar and add proteins and fibres that are central to Nutri-Score and Traffic light upgrades.”
Manufacturers face a battle on two fronts – both to modify their current ranges to avoid promotional bans and to lay down new conditions on how to manage the future products and portfolio vision.
“There is no time to lose as the legislative landscape is fluid and first mover advantage will count for those that plan ahead,” the white paper concluded