Currently, retailers use different criteria to convert nutritional information into traffic lights, which prevents shoppers making clear comparisons between products. As a result, foods which have similar nutritional profiles show different colours on the traffic light display.
Breakfast cereal, for example, can code red for sugar in one supermarket and amber in another, despite the sugar content being higher in the supermarket which codes amber. The situation is compounded by the different approaches taken over the presentation of nutritional information “as sold” or “as consumed”. Taking the cereal example, some retailers’ traffic lights are for a serving with milk added (as consumed) while others are without milk (as sold).
Morrisons believes that the current lack of consensus makes it difficult for customers to make informed choices when trying to eat healthily.
Morrisons Director of Brand Development, Sonia Whiteley-Guest, said: “A system which combines GDAs and traffic lights and is based on common nutritional criteria would help customers make healthier choices. The current traffic light system is undermined by inconsistent nutritional criteria, which is a recipe for confusion not clarity. We will work hard to reach a common set of rules which clears up the confusion and makes life easier for customers.”