Bakers Journal

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Study measures effectiveness of colour-coded front-of-pack labels on consumer behaviour


October 8, 2021
By Bakers Journal

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A study has concluded that mandatory colour-coded front-of-pack labelling policies help direct consumer choice and encouraging the food industry to reformulate products.

Researchers summarized the currently available 118 peer-reviewed studies to update knowledge of the most mainstream interpretive front-of-package nutrition labelling schemes.

They found that the traffic light labelling system, Nutri-Score, nutrient warning and health warning were all able to direct consumers towards more healthful purchasing behaviour. Colour-coded labels performed better in promoting the purchase of more healthful products, while warning labels were more effective in discouraging unhealthful purchasing behaviour.

What do these findings mean? The study provides comprehensive evidence to guide policy-makers in choosing the optimal front-of-package labelling policies. This evidence synthesis may inform further generalization of mandatory front-of-package labelling schemes and help to mitigate the burden of non-communicable disease.

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Future studies should focus on the impact of front-of-pack labels on dietary consumption in individuals, and industrial reformulation at the population level, especially in real-world settings and over a longer time frame.

This will provide comprehensive evidence to guide policy making.

Read more about the study.