A third (34%) of UK consumers do not know what the traffic light front-of-pack nutritional labelling system means, despite 76% saying they look at the system when choosing something to eat, new research from Nestlé Cereals has unveiled.
One in ten (11%) said they were not even aware of its existence, when asked if they knew what the front-of-pack nutritional traffic light labelling system means.
For those aware of the system, there remains significant misunderstanding around what the colours in the system actually mean, the study noted.
A third of the respondents (34%) believe that a green label means a food product is high in a nutrient, while 40% think it shows the product is low in a nutrient and therefore the healthier choice – highlighting considerable confusion people have.
Toby Baker, marketing director UK at Nestlé Cereals, said, “Despite the importance of the nutritional front-of-pack traffic light labelling system, it is very concerning that our research has found many consumers do not know how to interpret the labels and some are not even aware of the labelling system’s existence.”
‘No Reds’ Campaign
The findings were unveiled as Nestlé Cereals launched its ‘no reds’ campaign, featuring an imagined ‘World’s Widest Variety Pack’ to raise awareness of the fact that an impressive 18 products in its portfolio contain no red traffic lights.
The business has updated its website with a section explaining how the traffic light system works to offer more clarity on the nutritional labelling system
In due course, the company plans to add an arrow to the 18 ‘no reds’ cereals to signpost where the front-of-pack label is.
Baker added, “At Nestlé Cereals, we are committed to improving the nutritional profile of our cereals and are proud of the fact that 18 products in our portfolio have no red traffic lights meaning consumers can be reassured they are choosing a breakfast option that is not classified as ‘high’ in fat, saturates, sugars or salt.”