Sainsbury is set to follow in Tesco’s footsteps by putting a glycaemic index (GI) logo on its packaging from next month.
The move is part of the supermarket’s pledge to make health a key differentiator in its offer. However, Tesco was first on the scene in January when it launched its GI guide book and set out plans to put low or medium GI ratings on 1,000 products by the end of the year.
Sainsbury’s GI logo will sit alongside its ‘Wheel of Health’ front-of-pack labelling system. The new logo will appear on everyday items. Be Good To Yourself sandwiches will also carry the symbol, with egg and cress, for example, using a low GI indicator, while tuna and cucumber will be medium GI.
However, GI - which rates sugars in carbohydrate foods according to how quickly they raise blood sugar levels and break down during digestion - has faced criticism from some experts. Patrick Holford, founder of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, wrote in The Grocer that suppliers should dump GI and replace it with glycaemic load (GL), which takes into account the quantity of sugar in any particular product (The Saturday Essay, April 9, p32).