The UK food industry has announced its commitment to include on-pack Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) on up to eight nutrients, including calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, protein and sugars, fibre and salt.
The first new packs, which are aimed at giving shoppers the chance to check and compare the contents of food as well as work out how much a portion contains in relation to the guidance for a daily amount of, say, sugar and salt, are expected to appear on-shelf early in 2006.
Food and grocery think tank IGD brought food manufacturers and retailers together to work with nutritionists, scientists and researchers to establish what kind of helpful information should be put on food labels beyond the legally required details.
“We have been working with the industry for many years to develop helpful information for consumers on food packaging. We produced voluntary labelling guidelines in 1998, which helped bring the first information on GDAs for calories, fats and saturated fats,” said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD.
“Today, our new recommendations are based on months of research to establish exactly what consumers want. They are also founded on the latest available scientific reports and expert opinion to establish Guideline Daily Amounts for a normal healthy diet. The food industry has given its widespread support and commitment to providing this valuable extra information,” she added.
Food and Drink Federation deputy director general Martin Paterson said: “We welcome this new research showing what on-pack information consumers find most useful and look forward to seeing the guidance.”
He added that the FDF Delivering on Our Commitments report revealed that £15bn (US$25.9bn) worth of products will have GDAs on-pack by the end of 2006.
Diseases related to obesity are currently costing the NHS over £500m a year, the IGD said.