Industry leaders have slammed a new point-scoring system from the Food Standards Agency, which could outlaw certain foods from being advertised to children.
One senior industry source said the proposed system - which categorises products as high in saturated fat, salt or sugar; intermediate; or as a healthier choice - was too simplistic. “It seems to be much the same as the single traffic lights system, which has been rejected by the industry and consumers alike.”
Kellogg’s cereals, as well as crisps and sweets manufacturers, could be among the major losers if the system, which is intended to form a central plank of Ofcom’s investigation into advertising to children later this year, gets the go ahead.
Foods described as bran cereals, sugar-coated puffed oats,
corn flakes and honey and nut corn flakes all fall into the highest category. On the other hand, some Nestlé products would fare better, with Shreddies being described as intermediate and Shredded Wheat as a healthier choice.
A spokeswoman for Kellogg
said it would be conducting its own testing to find out whether its latest health initiatives - such as a 25% salt reduction in its corn flakes - had been taken into account.
“We need to see how it will affect us and how we are going to take our products forward. We’ll then go back to the FSA with our own results,” she said.
The FSA tested the system on 120 foods, then double checked for accuracy by using insights from more than 700 nutrition and dietetic professionals.
“Positive promotion should be encouraged” of products that fall into the healthier choice category, said the FSA.
The agency is calling for industry views on the new scoring system, which was put out for final consultation this week, to be submitted by September 26. It will then make a final decision in October.
The model measures seven nutrients, resulting in a final score for the product, which places it within the good, middle or bad catgeories.
Ofcom is set to use the system as a basis for its proposals to improve the regulation of broadcast commercials that are aimed at children.
Food producer The Real Good Food Company has made an offer of £67.74m for sugar company Napier Brown Foods. Napier Brown’s chairman, PG Ridgwell, said the offer reflected the group’s intention to broaden its base after listing on the Alternative Investment Market in December 2003, and recommended shareholders accept the offer.

The Food Standards Agency has revealed plans to publish a labelling guide. Under the rules, pre-packaged food labels will have to detail ingredients from a list of 12 allergy-causing foods.

Firefighters continued this week to battle with small pockets of fires at the Hilliers of Plymouth pie factory in Devon, which was devastated in a blaze more than a week ago. The cause is unknown.
Rachel Barnes
Real Good offer
NEW labelling rules
Still fighting fire