Green traffic light nutrition symbols now displayed on Weetabix Original and Weetabix Protein packaging

Green traffic light nutrition symbols now displayed on Weetabix Original and Weetabix Protein packaging

Weetabix, the UK-based breakfast business, has said it plans to roll out traffic-light nutrition labels onto all the cereals sold in its domestic market over the next year, following its decision to start using the lights on two lines this month.

The labels are being used on Weetabix Original and Weetabix Protein, which the company said qualify for green traffic lights. A spokesperson for the company, which also owns the Alpen and Ready Brek brands, told just-food today (8 September) the labels are set to be extended across its range of cereal products "within the next 12 months".

However, the spokesperson said there are no plans to introduce traffic light labelling to the group's drink products.

In a statement, Kevin Verbruggen, head of brand at Weetabix, said: "Shoppers tell us that they're often confused by the wide range of cereals, and the easy-to-read traffic lights make it simpler for health-conscious shoppers to make a quick, informed choice. This can only benefit shoppers, their families, and the category. As a category leader, we have a responsibility to provide best-practice food labelling, to help shoppers make more informed choices."

Verbruggen said Weetabix is "actively encouraging more children to start the day with a good breakfast". He added: "All of our family cereals meet the strict nutritional standards for marketing to children, which highlights how seriously we take our responsibility to providing nutritious breakfast choices."

According to Weetabix, which is majority owned by China's state-backed Bright Food Group, research indicates almost seven out of ten UK consumers "are concerned about the health benefits of cereal and 65% are looking to reduce the sugar intake in their diet". 

The company added: "These concerns are being reflected in consumers' purchasing choices, as higher sugar cereals face a decline in sales, while Weetabix sales have grown GBP2m (US$2.6m) this year to date," the company said. "Weetabix Original is made from 95% wholegrain wheat, and fortified with vitamins and iron. It is high in fibre, packed with nutrients and low in sugar and salt."

Chocolate giant Mars Inc and crisp manufacturer PepsiCo were among the early adopters of the "hybrid" front-of-pack nutrition labels in the UK, when they were launched in 2013.