The UK’s largest food retailers and many of its leading suppliers are to use a front-of-pack nutrition label that incorporates traffic light colour-coding – long a point of contention in the industry. Not every major food manufacturer has signed up. Companies including Kellogg and Mondelez International have refused to join the initiative – for now.

Premier Foods plc chief executive Gavin Darby

We’ve been voluntarily declaring GDA information on the front of pack for many years. However, the difference between manufacturer and retailer labelling schemes has been potentially confusing for consumers. Whilst no labelling scheme is perfect, I believe the Government’s new hybrid scheme provides the best opportunity to move towards one consistent approach in the UK. We wanted to make a quick decision on this so that we can plan label changes in the most cost effective way.

Nestle UK & Ireland

We … recognise that consistency increases consumers’ motivation to use front-of-pack information. The hybrid scheme will soon become the most widely used front-of-pack labelling in the UK. It is therefore in the interest of our consumers to have as many products consistently using the same front of pack labels as possible. Cereal Partners Worldwide the front-of-pack labelling proposal.

Kellogg UK

Any new approach to front-of-pack labelling must help people to make the right food choices for them and their families. We welcome the Government’s backing for guideline daily amounts (GDAs) as part of the solution announced today. GDAs are the best way to ensure people understand what’s in their food. Kellogg’s will take proper time to review the details of today’s proposal and the likely impact on our shoppers – before deciding our next steps.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd

For years Which? has been calling for food companies to use traffic light labels so we welcome this big step forward towards making it easier for consumers to make healthy choices. With levels of obesity and diet-related disease on the increase, it’s vitally important that people know what is in their food, and this labelling scheme will encourage food companies to do more to reduce the amount of sugar, salt and fat in popular products.

We hope that more food manufacturers will join the scheme so that their labels will be consistent and comparable to those on the front of the retailers’ own packs.

Mondelez International

Mondelez International has been providing UK consumers with clear nutritional information on the front of pack since 2006 – in fact we were a pioneer of the current GDA labelling scheme. We will continue to give consumers the information they need to make informed choices about the food they eat. We have seen the new scheme proposed by the government and are currently reviewing the details.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King

We were the first to use traffic light nutritional labelling on front-of-pack eight years ago, and with traffic lights on over 9,000 lines we are the biggest user in the UK. We know they are the most effective way to help customers make at-a glance healthier choices.

The food industry has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a consistent approach to front-of-pack labelling that will make it easier for customers to make informed healthier eating choices about the foods they buy.  We hope all food retailers and manufacturers will sign up to the scheme for the benefit of UK consumers.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation

This is undeniably a first-class scheme that will make it easier for shoppers to scan the shelves and make more informed choices about what’s going in their trolley. We’re delighted all the major supermarkets are committed to the scheme and look forward to more food manufacturers signing up.

UK public health minister Anna Soubry

The UK already has the largest number of products using a front of pack label in Europe but we know that people get confused by the variety of labels that are used. Research shows that, of all the current schemes, people like this label the most and they can use the information to make healthier choices.

We all have a responsibility to tackle the challenge of obesity, including the food industry. By having all major retailers and manufacturers signed up to the consistent label, we will all be able to see at a glance what is in our food – this is why I want to see more manufacturers signing up and using the label.