Waitrose was the first retailer to use the Government's front of pack traffic light scheme in 2005 and we have continued to follow the guidlelines for both front and back of pack nutrition labelling since, providing customers with both informative and clear nutrition labelling.
Understanding your label
Public Health England has launched a plan to cut our calorie intake by 20% over the coming years. The recommendation is for 2,000 calories a day for adults. However, we currently consume an average of around 300 calories more than this every day.
But we know it’s not just calories we need to look out for if we want to eat well, it’s the overall balance of nutrients. Which is why the traffic light labels on many prepackaged food and drinks in Waitrose and other retailers can be so empowering.
This is a simple colour-coding system that can be used at a glance, ideal for when you’re short of time – simply choose products with mainly green and amber lights for a healthier choice. For more information, values are also shown in both grams and as a percentage of your daily allowance, known as your Reference Intake. This allows you to compare similar products and see straightaway which one is the healthier option. Let’s take a closer look…
SIZING UP PORTIONS
Check the pack for portion size.
This is what the numbers on the
nutrition label are based on. It might
be per pack, per half pack,
or per 100g – whichever it is,
you’ll need to know to make
the right choices.
THE TRIO OF COLOURS
The red, amber and green colours show
at a glance whether a product is high,
medium or low for fat, saturates, sugars or salt. Use the colour coding to compare two
products. If one sandwich has less red
and more green than the other,
it’s the healthier choice.
Use the calorie information to compare products. Check the pack for how
many calories there are in a portion
and in 100g of the product. Aim to stay
below the daily allowance or
recommended intake (RI) of
2,000 calories (kcal) per day.
YOUR DAILY ALLOWANCE EXPLAINED
The red, amber and green colours show at
a glance whether a product is high, medium
or low for fat, saturates, sugars or salt. Use
the colour coding to compare two products.
If one sandwich has less red and more green
than the other, it’s the healthier choice.
THE NUMBERS BEHIND THE COLOURS
If you'd like to know why a green's a green or a red's a red, this table shows how the traffic lights of food products are calculated.
Just because a product has one or more red lights, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid it altogether.
We all need a little bit of what we fancy every now and then. But eating fewer reds and less often
can help you achieve a healthier diet in the long run.
The Good Health label is a handy shortcut that tells you whether a product is a healthy choice.
WHAT IT MEANS
Any product bearing the label will provide a clear nutritional benefit, helping you get the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats or portions towards your 5 a day as part of a balanced diet.
HOW IT WORKS
To carry the Good Health label, a product must meet the government guidelines on fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt – so you won’t see any red traffic lights, unless the fats or sugars are naturally present in nuts and fruit.
WHY IS THIS USEFUL?
The Good Health label complements the traffic light label by highlighting the nutritional benefit on healthy choices beneficial to you and your family.
Back of pack information
Nutritional icons on pack
HIGH IN FIBRE: Contains more than 6g fibre per 100g
SOURCE OF FIBRE: Contains more than 3g per 100g
Protein plays an important role in the growth and development of muscles.
SOURCE OF PROTEIN: at least 12% of the energy value of the food is provided by protein (20% for high protein)
This a type of unsaturated fat that
helps to keep our heart healthy and is essential to health and wellbeing. You
might see this icon displayed on fresh
oily fish such as trout, salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna, as well as canned fish
in oils (excluding tuna) and fortified
products such as eggs, milk and yogurt.
5 A DAY
Eating more fruit and vegetables is
an important part of a healthy balanced diet and the best way to ensure we're getting more fibre and essential vitamins and minerals. Aim for at least 5 portions each day.
1 OF YOUR 5 A DAY: Contains at least
80g of fresh, frozen or canned fruit or vegetable, or 25g dried fruit
Limiting the amount of fat in our diet helps to prevent weight gain and is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.
LOW IN FAT: Less than 3% fat, containing
no more than 3g total fat per 100g
LOW IN SATURATED FAT: Less than 1.5% saturated fat, containing no more than 1.5g saturated fat per 100g
REDUCED FAT: 30% less fat than a standard, similar product
FAT FREE: Less than 0.5% fat, containing no more than 0.5g total fat per 100g
VITAMINS & MINERALS
We need over 40 different kinds of vitamins and minerals every day for good health. Since there is no single food that contains them all, it is important to eat a wide variety of foods every day.
HIGH IN VITAMINS / MINERALS: Provides
at least 30% of the Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) for the vitamin or mineral, per 100g or per single portion
SOURCE OF VITAMINS / MINERALS: Provides at least 15% of the NRV for
the vitamin or mineral, per 100g or
per single portion
Allergens and the ingredients list
• Ingredients are specified on the back of the pack
• They are listed in decreasing order of weight
• Allergens must be clearly highlighted in the ingredients list (in bold, italics or colour)
• Allergens defined in EU food law (14 declared) – they do not include everything that a consumer might be allergic to. They are: Peanuts, nuts, crustaceans, molluscs, fish, eggs, milk, cereals containing gluten, soya, sesame seeds, celery, mustard, lupin, sulphur dioxide