Bell Design updates food traffic light system

Bell Design is updating the traffic light labelling system it previously developed for the Food Standards Agency.

Bell was briefed last month to reform the system in line with new guidance that the FSA is adopting.

The new guidelines state that the signpost must now feature separate information on fat, saturated fat, sugars, salt and calories, as well as percentage guideline daily amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt present in a single portion of the product.

The consultancy developed the original system, which is a graphic representation of recommended daily allowances, for the FSA three-and-a-half years ago. The front-of-pack system is used to differentiate between products that are high in fat, salt and sugar, and healthier choices.

The system, which followed an extensive period of consumer research, has since been adopted by a number of retailers, including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op and Marks & Spencer, as well as food manufacturers such as McCain and The New Covent Garden Food Co.

The on-pack traffic light designs vary between retailers – for example, Sainsbury’s uses a circular design called the Wheel of Health – but all are based on Bell’s and the FSA’s guidelines, following the same basic structure.

The new guidelines are set to roll out to food retailers this month.

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