United Biscuits is expected to opt for GDA front-of-pack labelling later this year with its Go Ahead! healthier brand likely to be the first in its portfolio to roll out.
The FSA has yet to carry out its research to determine which labelling scheme - its own traffic light option or the FDF-backed GDA scheme - is most effective, and the move would be a major coup for the GDA camp. The snack company is one of the last major brandowners to decide on a scheme, and its backing would swell the number of brands and retailers using GDAs to more than 50.
The GDA scheme made more sense for UB's approach to health, said director of customer marketing Mark Sugden. "We have avoided it so far, instead using clear labels on back of packs of products such as Go Ahead!, which is very much about weight management. We are early on at looking at GDAs."
Although plans for the roll-out are under wraps, it is likely to be gradual due to the practicalites of overhauling the packaging.
"We need to be in tune with what customers expect to see on their packaging," said head of strategic projects Alice Cadman, who has led United Biscuits' focus on health and nutrition for the past four years.
UB would keep up the emphasis on healthy NPD this year, with tailored strategies for different brands, said Cadman. "Messages on Hula Hoops that they have less saturated fat are relevant, but we are more subtle in our approach with a male-oriented brand such as McCoy's," she said.
From this month none of UB's products would contain hydrogenated fat, with it removed from the final three products - Tuc, Gold Bar and Pink Wafer, she added.
Its new organic Yumbles brand, which hits shelves next month, will also be a platform for further organic launches, said Cadman.