The Federal Council created the legal framework for the Nutri-Score. The five-step guide is intended to help consumers eat healthily – but the introduction is voluntary. Food traffic light comes in November.
Food traffic light comes in November
Many foods in Germany are expected to have a food traffic light from November. The Federal Council has approved a law that creates the legal framework for the voluntary use of the so-called Nutri-Score. The labeling on the front of the pack of finished products is intended to make it easier for consumers to eat healthier.
The system, which originated in France, offsets harmful ingredients such as sugar, fat, salt with recommended ones such as protein or fiber to a single total value: On a five-point scale from “A” on a dark green field for the best balance, through a yellow “C” to the red ” E “for the worst. The scale should also enable a comparison within a product group, for example of different mueslis or yoghurts.
In a representative survey by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2019, Nutri-Score prevailed against other models of food labeling. The respondents found it most understandable.
Products made from just one ingredient do not fare well with Nutri-Score
There is criticism, however, of the fact that certain positive ingredients are not included in the rating – such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins. This is why the Nutri-Score sometimes does not do justice to some products that only consist of one ingredient.
An example of this is olive oil. It would get a bad rating for its 100 percent fat content. It has beneficial, unsaturated fatty acids. However, they are not taken into account in the Nutri-Score and thus do not create an improvement in the calculation.
The first products with Nutri-Score can already be seen in stores. The new logo is intended to supplement the nutrition tables on the back of the pack. Consumer advocates welcome the Nutri-Score – in their opinion, the label should be introduced “uniformly and bindingly” across Europe. So far, labeling has been voluntary for companies.