The Label Wars Clash EUDownload a PDF of this article
In May 2020, the European Commission (EC) announced the implementation of a unified mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling that must be in the market before the end of 2022. The purpose of this policy is to empower consumers through the provision of nutrition information and help them make health-conscious food choices. However, the introduction of a common European front-of-pack nutrition label has triggered a polarised debate in the public opinion. FTI Consulting experts dive deep into the roots of this topic and share their views on how important it is to build engagement with key stakeholders and shape the opinions and myths fueling the policy making process.
Show me the truth behind your label
Consumer transparency is nowadays a must for any business. By virtue of preventing obesity chronic diseases, and due to the existence of health concerns, companies from the food and beverage sector are requested to disclose information that goes beyond the Nutrition Facts label. This public concern results in some regulatory developments in public health as well as in changes in industry practices such as providing country of origin information and V-Label to vegetarian and vegan products. Given the prospect of the EU’s decision on this topic, companies have already begun to report their nutritional information.
The growing appeal of front-of-pack labels is a consequence of the recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004 to provide nutrition information with significant impact on people’s dietary choices. The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) outlined in December 2019 that nutrition information standards are a cornerstone of European consumer policy.
Policymakers are willing to implement these labels on account of incentivizing food operators to reformulate their products. Moreover, nutrition labels provide consumers with adequate information to make choices that are best aligned with their preferences. These tools are considered to protect consumer’s interests by allowing them to make an informed judgement regarding a product.