Stakeholders send letter to European Commission asking for standardized labeling across Europe19 May 2020
A coalition of nearly 40 food and beverage industry titans sent a letter to the European Commission’s Commissioner for Health and Food Safety on April 27 calling for mandatory EU-wide adoption of consistent front of package labeling to combat the rising public health crisis of overweight and obese adults. Signatories include retailers such as Carrefour, Albert Heijn, Kaufland and Lidl as well as industry juggernauts like Nestlé, Danone and Fleury Michon.
The Nutri-Score system is one of many options that are seen across packaging in the European Union. In the Nordic countries there is the Nordic Keyhole layout and the UK uses a traffic light scheme. However, in the joint letter to Stella Kyriakides, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, the group called for the Nutri-Score nutrition label to be mandated across EU member states.
This labeling system ranks products on a scale of -15 to +50 with the lower numbers indicating healthier products. Based on an individual product’s score, a corresponding color will be identified and highlighted. Colors range from dark green (A) to dark red (E).
Already, the Nutri-Score front of package labeling system, which is a voluntary option developed in France in 2017, has been implemented in Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium. However, companies are also independently supporting the new labeling convention. Nestlé is introducing the label across products in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland this year. Similarly, Danone will roll out the system on its products sold in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Slovenia and Switzerland, according to Food Navigator.
However, Italian MEP Silvia Sardone has decried the standardization of this system throughout the EU saying that it discriminates against traditional Italian foods like Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano and olive oil. In response, Italy’s government has proposed yet another labeling scheme called NutrInform which uses a battery-shaped symbol to indicate a product's relationship with an individual’s daily nutrient needs.
In the letter supporting the adoption of the Nutri-Score system, the coalition notes that their choice to support this method is based on research. “Research conducted in several countries shows Nutri-Score is currently the best-performing scheme in both aiding consumers to compare the nutritional quality of foods across a range of products and to make healthier purchasing choices in the supermarket.”
Food Navigator reported that FEDIOL, Europe’s vegetable oil and protein meal sector representative body, noted that this labeling choice makes it “impossible” for vegetable oils and fats to surpass a ‘C’ or ‘D’ score.
Although there is recognition that the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are occupying the majority of the Commission's efforts, the joint letter pushes for the immediate implementation of the system across EU packaging. “As Europe continues to confront the serious impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, the importance of the health of its citizens has been underlined more than ever,” argued the coalition.
A study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that obesity is the biggest risk factor for mortality from COVID-19 for those under 50. For those between 50 and 64, obesity was also identified as a major risk factor for death as a result of COVID-19.
To help combat the growing trend of obesity in the EU, the letter states that addressing poor diets through labeling is an effective way to address underlying societal concerns. According to the letter, “We believe that food plays an important part in maintaining a healthy society, and that we must therefore empower citizens throughout the EU to adopt balanced eating and drinking habits by providing clear nutritional information.”
Novozymes acquires PrecisionBiotics Group
2 Jul 2020
Danish biotech company Novozymes announced its acquisition of Irish probiotics firm PrecisionBiotics Group for €80 million.Read more
Research shows adding iodine to salt may pose risks to some populations
23 Jun 2020
A new study by the Norwegian’s Scientific Committee on Food and the Environment (VKM) concluded that although the addition of iodine to salt used in products throughout the country would benefit adolescents and women of childbearing age, the same incre...Read more
Mintel: coronavirus spurred French consumer toward local and functional foods
25 May 2020
After two months of strict confinement in France, market insights firm Mintel discovered that French consumer preferences have shifted to favor both local products and functional foods in a more pronounced manner than before the government enacted quar...Read more
Chicken protein now comes bottled for convenience
5 May 2020
Singaporean workout enthusiast, Brian Chia, brought BE ALPHA meat-based protein smoothies to Singapore where he has found commercial success. He is now looking to expand his meal replacement beverage to the U.S. and other countries.Read more
Could revised calorie content boost nut consumption?
20 Jan 2020
Researchers from the USDA have discovered that tree nuts like almonds, cashews and pistachios may have fewer calories than previously thought, and food firms are starting to reflect this on pack. Could fewer calories prompt consumers to eat more nuts?Read more
Future Meat Technologies gets $14 million funding
17 Oct 2019
Future Meat Technologies has closed a $14 million Series A funding round led by S2G Ventures, a Chicago-based venture capital firm and one of the forces behind Beyond Meat's IPO, and Emerald Technology Ventures, a Swiss-based venture capital firm.Read more
Tyson Foods launches protein snacks range
26 Sep 2019
Tyson Foods has launched a new line of functional refrigerated protein snacks under its new brand, Pact, created to help people harness the natural benefits of food.Read more
Arla introduces Lacprodan ISO.WheyBar
26 Sep 2019
Arla Foods Ingredients says it is offering an easy way to give protein bars premium positioning.Read more
Pharmactive launches saffron extract
24 Sep 2019
Pharmactive Biotech Products has launched its Affron all-natural, non-GMO Spanish saffron extract (Crocus sativus L.) in the Asia-Pacific market.Read more
IFF Health launches new curcumin extract
20 Sep 2019
IFF Health (formerly known as Frutarom Health) has introduced a new formulation of solubilized liquid curcumin extract in combination with Boswellia serrata.Read more
Are you a supplier
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation