What are the companies doing?
Some branded companies use the government-recommended colour-coded labelling including: Alpen, Honey Monster (previously Sugar Puffs), Mornflake, Quaker Oats, Scott's and Weetabix. All of the nine top supermarkets have colour-coded front of pack labelling on their own-label breakfast cereals across their economy, standard and premium ranges.
After a Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recent campaign, Kellogg and Nestle said they would use traffic lights on their cereals in the UK. But a shop visit in Manchester in September 2018 found that Kellogg's were still not using them, but Nestle were.
In fact, the Kellogg's UK website was the only website we found that did not display any nutritional information for specific products.
Jordans were also not using colour-coded front of pack labels.
Some perceived ‘healthy’ and ethical cereal brands failed to include any form of front of pack nutrition labelling at all, colour coded or otherwise – Biofair, Biona, Amisa, Infinity, Suma, Kallo, Whole Earth, Eat Natural, Rude Health, Alara, Traidcraft, Doves Farm and Dorset Cereals.
“Shoppers should be seeing red, and they would be if manufacturers used the correct labels! It’s scandalous that certain food manufacturers are still refusing to be transparent when it comes to front of pack nutrition labelling. If there is no front of pack label with one brand, shoppers should assume they are hiding something - so buy another brand instead.” - Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director of Action on Sugar and FoodSwitch UK.
The FoodSwitch UK app scans the barcode using a smartphone camera and provides colour-coded nutrition information for over 100,000 packaged food and drinks, even if there is no colour coding on the pack itself, so that users can see whether a product is high (red), medium (amber) or low (green) in total fat, saturates, sugars and salt. It also provides a list of similar, healthier alternatives and includes a new filter, SugarSwitch, which enables users to search specifically for healthier alternatives that are lower in sugar.