This report analyses the emergence of third-party nutrition labels and their relevance in a post-Coronavirus (COVID-19) world. While comparing different labels a particular focus is on Nutri-Score that has been in the spotlight recently receiving growing support from various European countries, companies and retailers. The briefing discusses the impact of third-party nutrition labels on consumer behaviour and provides an outlook on future developments.
Governments across the globe are under immense pressure to tackle surging obesity rates not only among adults, but also children. While previously major health risks related to obesity included cancer, diabetes and heart disease, COVID-19 aggravated the situation through increased risk of severe illness and even death for obese consumers. The challenging task governments face is how to get consumers to eat healthier diets and most importantly help them to understand nutritional information of food and beverage products while shopping.
As a result, third-party nutrition labels indicating healthier variants have gained momentum. Among a large set of different schemes, Nutri-Score is the most talked about lately and receives a stronger focus in this report. Growing support for the scheme is reflected in its acceptance by a growing number of European countries and its implementation by leading food companies and grocery retailers.
Female consumers and parents are particularly keen to adopt healthier diets and are hence more receptive to FOP nutrition labels. Getting consumers’ attention is the key for them to include the label in their decision-making process. Nutri-Score has made inroads into the French market and shows signs of growing consumer acceptance.
EU moves towards a harmonised, mandatory scheme
The European Commission announced plans for a harmonised approach and a mandatory labelling scheme. This means that food and beverage companies need to prepare for their products to receive a front-of-pack (FOP) nutritional stamp. In view of this, early product re-formulations towards healthier variants are recommended.
Digital applications are thriving in a post-COVID-19 world and contribute to inform consumers about nutritional values through different labels and scoring systems. These easy-to-use solutions are expected to be well received by consumers.
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