Waitrose has held off launching a food-labelling system in order to avoid customer confusion, Steven Esom, the supermarket’s managing director, has said.
Speaking at the Federation of Bakers annual conference 2005, Esom said that customers were getting “terribly confused” with food labelling and that the launch of another new system would make matters worse.
His comments go against the views of Tesco and Sainsbury, which have both recently launched front-of-pack labelling systems.
Tesco moved its nutritional labelling from the back to the front of product packs, while Sainsbury has adopted a front-of-pack Wheel of Health system.
Esom also said that any adopted system would need “at least five years” to educate customers and should encompass the use of Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA).
“I think it is entirely sensible to build on the old processes surrounding GDA rather than start a brand new system.”
However, Esom added that whatever system is adopted would need to be taken up by the whole industry. He received the backing of fellow speakers at the conference.

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