Health & Nutrition

Front of pack nutrition labelling

Britvic was amongst the first group of companies to sign up to the UK Department of Health’s voluntary front of pack nutrition labelling (traffic light) scheme.

We have been providing this information on a voluntarily basis on all our products in the UK since 2005 however the revised Department of Health scheme, which was launched in 2013, provides a consistent approach across all food and drink products in the UK market.

Although at present there is no similar scheme in Ireland, we have committed to providing the front of pack nutrition icons in a monochrome format as a minimum for all our Irish brands.

FRONT OF PACK NUTRITION INFORMATION

The ‘traffic light’ (red, amber and green) colour coded icons on packs provides an at-a-glance overview of the food or drink and whether it contains high, medium or low amounts of fat, saturates, sugars and salt, helping consumers to achieve a balanced diet.

In addition, the percentage reference intakes (RI) also help consumers to understand how the quantity of a particular nutrient in a specified portion of the product relates to the ideal maximum amount to be consumed daily.

Displaying nutrition information for a specified portion also makes it easier to compare between products and make conscious dietary choices.

WHAT ARE REFERENCE INTAKES?

The term Reference Intake (RI) has replaced Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA), however although the terminology has changed, the same meaning remains.

Reference intakes are guides to the amount of energy (calories), fat, saturates, sugars and salt an average adult should aim to have no more than in any one day.

Despite the fact that everybody is different, consumers should aim to meet the reference intake for energy and treat those for fat, saturates, sugars and salt as the maximum amounts you should have in one day.

The reference intakes for an average adult are:

Energy/ nutrient Reference Intake
Energy 8400kJ / 2000kcal
Total fat 70g
Saturates 20g
Carbohydrate 260g
Sugars 90g
Protein 50g
Salt 6g

There are currently no reference intakes for children so traffic light labelling on children’s brands like Robinsons Fruit Shoot are based on adult values.

WHAT DO RED, AMBER AND GREEN MEAN?

Red means the product is high in that nutrient; however it does not mean that someone should not or cannot consume the product, but that they should try to limit how much they consume.

Amber means the product is neither high nor low for that nutrient. Foods and drinks with amber can help consumers balance their diet.

Green means the product is low in that nutrient. It is not essential however that someone should only choose products with green icons, as a balance is needed with a few ambers and reds to make up a balanced diet.

For more information on food labelling, you can visit the NHS Choices website

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A KILOCALORIE (Kcal) AND A KILOJOULE (kJ)?

Both kilocalories (kcal) and kilojoules (kJ) measure energy. Providing both is similar to providing both grams and ounces - kilojoules (kJ) is just the metric unit of measure of energy. However all labels must state both!

1kcal = 4.2kJ

A typical adult needs 2000kcals each day, which is the equivalent of 8400kJ.