Shopper looks at labelling on tin on shelf

Retailers are looking at a new voluntary front-of-pack labelling scheme called GDA+.

European food and drink companies are exploring a new voluntary front-of-pack labelling scheme called GDA+ that would allow food companies to highlight positive nutritional credentials instead of just warning about high fat, sugar or salt.

Trade body Food and Drink Europe has formed an ad hoc group with three sub-groups, which met on Thursday (6 June) to discuss what broad principles might underpin such a scheme.

According to an FDE presentation for the meeting - seen by The Grocer - these could include giving consumers information about “positive and negative nutrients, but less focus on ‘negative’ nutrients and more on whole foods and diets”. The new scheme would also steer clear of traffic-light colours, the presentation suggested.

The group is now considering developing a brief for a creative agency to explore how such a scheme might work. Eufic could also be invited to provide input.

The proposals come as the UK gears up to launch a new voluntary hybrid labelling scheme, criticised by some EU MEPs and industry bodies for interfering with the free movement of goods.

“Our position on nutrition labelling is clear: we have a very well established system based on monochrome GDAs that is implemented throughout Europe and indeed elsewhere in the world, and well understood by consumers across the continent,” FDE told The Grocer on Monday (10 June).

“Nevertheless, the industry is not closed to examining other initiatives in this area to see if they can help us in our ongoing efforts to provide consumers with fact-based, user-friendly information.

“To facilitate discussions and an exchange of views among its members, Food and Drink Europe recently set up a working group of experts (referred to internally as ‘GDA+’). This Group is looking at a multitude of different approaches related to nutrition information and this work is continuing.”