The Food Standards Agency has set up an independent project management panel to evaluate the impact of front-of-pack nutritional labelling on shopping behaviour.

It is hoped the study will be able to work out which nutritional labelling scheme works best for consumers - the Food Standard Agency's favoured traffic lights scheme or Guideline Daily Amounts, backed by the Food and Drink Federation.

The panel will be managed by Sue Duncan, head of the Government Social Science Research Unit, and will include Ashley Adamson, senior lecturer in public health nutrition at Newcastle University, Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar, and Alizon Draper, senior lecturer in international public health nutrition at Westminster University.

It will be able to draw upon the advice of an advisory group made up of a number of retailers, manufacturers and associations including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Kellogg, PepsiCo and Cancer Research UK. Work is expected to start later in 2007.

“Front-of-pack nutritional labelling is now firmly accepted by the majority of major retailers and manufacturers. The debate is now about which system works best for consumers, rather than whether there should be a system - which is why we are committed to carrying out this study of impact on shopping behaviour in the market place,” said FSA chair Deirdre Hutton.