Over the last year, like many parents, she has spent more time cooking with her three kids at home. Which she has used as an opportunity to share some nutrition tips with them.
"Involving my three kids in the kitchen has been a lot of fun and beneficial. I used their creativity to integrate veggies in their favorite dishes. We also scheduled the different meals of the week together. And this is how I started talking about Nutri-Score with them – when choosing and using products for our meals. With the letter and the color, it’s quite a simple system to explain and to use," explains Emmy.
Involving my three kids in the kitchen has been a lot of fun and beneficialEmmy Nutrition, Health and Wellness Manager at Nestlé
Nutri-Score is a colorful nutrition label. It rates foods and drinks according to their nutritional value from A (healthier choices) to E (less healthy choices) - each letter corresponding to a color.
One of the benefits of Nutri-Score is to help consumers identify the healthiest option within a product category. For instance, consumers can easily compare the nutritional value of different breakfast cereals and opt for healthier choice: for example, a product scoring 'A' instead of one scoring 'B'.
"I see it with my own kids: Nutri-Score helps them to adopt healthy habits. It’s not only about choosing the healthiest breakfast cereals but also about consuming certain products with the right frequency. They now get that they shouldn’t have a chocolate bar every day: it’s better to have it on fewer occasions and enjoy it to the fullest," says Emmy.
A driver for healthier habits and products
Nutri-Score has proven that it works with consumers in Europe. This is backed up by more than 15 studies1 run in several countries. In France, more than 90% of people surveyed in 2021 recognized that Nutri-Score helps them assess the nutritional value of food.
"To come back to my job as a nutritionist, we also see from our own research2 that consumers are increasingly relying on Nutri-Score to buy food. For products associated with main meals such as breakfast cereals, pizzas, or cooking aids - around one out of two people surveyed would switch to an alternative product with a better Nutri-Score. It’s not a perfect system but it works," explains Emmy.
Nutri-Score is also an incentive to make food products healthier. Nestlé started its reformulation journey more than 20 years ago - decreasing sugars, sodium and saturated fat in food. Nutri-Score now offers a clear standard to move even faster.
"Indeed, we see that Nutri-Score helps us to further improve the recipes of our product. Recently, we have renovated 25% of our veggie segment within our plant-based portfolio based on Nutri-Score. We’ve done so by reducing salt and fat and adding fiber," says Emmy.
Nutri-Score across Europe
Developed by independent researchers and firstly adopted by France, Nutri-Score is now recommended by other European countries: Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.
"Looking at the positive impact that Nutri-Score has on consumers and on product development, I sincerely hope that it will become available across Europe in the near future. It’s not easy to have balanced nutrition so if we’ve a solution that works – like Nutri-Score – we should scale them up," explains Emmy.
This is why Nestlé is advocating along with consumers organizations, academics and other food companies to make Nutri-Score the future EU nutrition label.
1For recent studies on Nutri-Score, see:
- Objective Understanding of Front-of-Package Nutrition Labels: An International Comparative Experimental Study across 12 Countries
- Compared to other front-of-pack nutrition labels, the Nutri-Score emerged as the most efficient to inform Swiss consumers on the nutritional quality of food products
- Comparison of front-of-pack labels to help German consumers understand the nutritional quality of food products. Colour-coded labels outperform all other systems
- Le Nutri-Score, un repère utile pour connaître la qualité nutritionnelle d’un produit pour plus de 9 Français sur 10
2Nestlé online consumer survey run in partnership with [email protected] with 1500+ respondents in France doing the shopping for their household in November 2020.