August 02, 2013
Any of you who sell products in other countries know that food and beverage labels can look very different from country to country. But one thing has been popping up on food labels globally, including here in the United States—front-of-pack nutrition labeling. While Sweden’s keyhole symbol has been in place for many years, Australia and the United Kingdom have both recently adopted voluntary programs.
Australia recently approved a new front-of-pack labeling system
, which will rate the nutritional value of foods and beverages, with up to five stars and icons regarding calories, saturated fat, sodium, sugar and one positive nutrient. This will be a voluntary system, but if after two years the government feels that not enough foods are displaying the symbol, the program could be made mandatory.
The criteria for front-of-pack labeling for dairy products is not finalized following concerns that the emphasis on saturated fat content can make yogurt and cheese look less healthy and could discourage people from choosing these dairy foods.
This summer, the United Kingdom, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, has finalized a voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labeling icon
, which is a hybrid of traffic light symbols and quantitative values for certain nutrients. The symbol declares the amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt per serving, and also colors each of these nutrients with red, amber or green based on the level of these nutrients in the food.
The keyhole symbol
has been used in Sweden since 1989 ...