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Developing food labels for improved health outcomes: Insights into simplified nutrition labelling policies

Céline Giner, Daniela Rodriguez and Armelle Elasri

No 203, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers from OECD Publishing

Abstract: Simplified nutrition labelling policies provide supplementary nutritional information in an easy-to-understand label displayed on food products at the front-of-pack. Forty-four countries have introduced these types of labelling schemes with a view to promoting positive public health outcomes. Preliminary insights on the impact of these schemes show that they can influence reformulation efforts by the food industry as well as consumers’ purchasing decisions. The schemes differ, however, across several dimensions including implementation methods (voluntary or mandatory), the extent to which they provide consumers with nutrient information versus nutrition advice, the conveyed message, targeted products, design and appearance, and accompanying national policy mix. Their rapid proliferation across the world has led to a diversity of schemes which can have implications for private sector decisions and trade. Mechanisms to improve the availability of information and reduce administrative hurdles should be considered in order to improve the integration and use of such schemes, and to facilitate trade. Improving consistency across the nutrient criteria that underpin the different schemes could be considered when reviews are undertaken, especially at the regional level.

Keywords: Food systems; Front-of-pack; Impact assessment; Policy processes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 L66 M38 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023-08-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr
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