Rival food labelling schemes go to war as FSA airs its ads
Published:  26 January, 2007

UK supermarkets and drinks firms have gone head-to-head with the government's official food labelling scheme.

TV ads designed to explain the Food Standards Agency's "traffic light " nutritional labelling plan were broadcast for the first time last week, sparking tension with industry heavyweights including PepsiCo, Nestlé, Tesco and Morrisons, who have ploughed £4 million into an 18-month campaign promoting a rival guideline daily amount system.

The FSA's scheme labels foods either red, amber or green, depending on their nutritional value, whereas the other system tells shoppers what GDA percentage of sugar, salt, fat and calories each product serving contains.

The FSA is backing its front-of-pack labelling with a £2 million campaign that consists of outdoor, online and press ads in tabloids and women's magazines.

Posters will appear outside supermarkets that support the scheme, including Sainsbury's, Waitrose, the

Co-op and Asda.

FSA chair Deirdre Hutton said the traffic light and GDA labelling could be compl ementary. "Most manufacturers and retailers are now using front-of-pack nutritional labelling and this is good news. Some shoppers find extra GDA information useful - and all industry needs to do is add traffic light colours to its GDA schemes to ensure the consumer gets the best of both worlds."

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