by Zoey Ginsberg
3 min read
Developed in France by the Santé Publique, Nutri-Score is a rating system based on a five-color and letter label scale designed to encourage consumers to shop healthier.
The colorful label is optional for companies to add to their Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), and is available for all processed foods and beverages, excluding alcoholic drinks. According to Understanding of Front-of-Package Nutrition Labels: An International Comparative Experimental Study across 12 Countries, Nutri-Score ranked as easiest to understand in comparison to other Front of Package Nutrition Labels.
How is the Nutri-Score calculated for FMCG products?
A mathematical algorithm scores each product, studying the nutritional value per 100 gr or 100 ml. The score is based on the amount of fiber, protein, fruits, and vegetables as well as sugar, salt, and saturated fats. However, factors such as pesticides, additives, and the level of food processing aren’t taken into account for this particular label.
A key point is that each product is scored against similar products: for example, a frozen pizza that has a perfect Nutri-Score of A still can’t be deemed as healthy or nutritious as frozen vegetables that also have an A. Yet, if one frozen pizza has an A and another frozen pizza has a B, the consumer can shop accordingly.
The label, created specifically to simplify the experience for shoppers, is now present and recommended by the European Commission, the World Health Organization, and French, Belgian, Spanish, German, and Dutch health authorities.
How to Add the Label to Your Product to Increase Your Distribution Strategy?
The Nutri-Score label is a completely optional add-on for your products. If you want to attract consumer attention by showing off your nutritional value, all you have to do is request the rights from Santé France and calculate your score.
The request depends on how you distribute your products to the French market, or if you distribute exclusively outside of France. Once you’ve sent in your application, no need to wait for an answer, you can apply the logo to your products!
What’s Your Product's Nutritional Score?
You can easily calculate the Nutri-Score for your products by inputting the nutritional values on the sheet provided by Santé France, or with specific online calculators.
Values are calculated based on specific variables such as the presence of fruits and vegetables, so if you're selling frozen fish, your grade might not be that great. It’s still important for you to calculate the nutritional value of your products and see how you can improve them, by lowering the butter and fats or adding more proteins and vegetables.
Transparency is an important factor in consumer decisions. Being upfront about how healthy your product is – and explaining the ingredients – is better than shoppers finding out for themselves! Apps such as Yuka, or OpenFoodFacts can automatically calculate the Nutri-Score even if the label isn’t displayed on your products.
Transparency is Key
Some companies are doing exactly that and just being honest with their customers! It’s important to remember that the Nutri-Score is a great way to get a quick overview of the nutritional value of a product, but it’s also simply an indicator. Just because a product is graded less than a B, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to cut it out of your diet.
Joker, a French juice brand, clearly explains their grading system, clarifying that the average score for juices is C and that only water gets the coveted A. This doesn’t mean that you can never drink juice again! Bread and pastry brand Harrys boasts that 99 % of their sandwich slices are scored A and B, while still being honest with the fact that their sweeter pastries are ranked mostly as C.
Big buyers that participate at Wabel Online Summits, such as Spar International, Casino, Intermarché, and Auchan deem that providing the Nutri-Score for their private label products is very important. It shows their willingness to be open about ingredients and help consumers be more healthy.
As consumers are more and more interested in being healthy for their grocery needs, buyers are aligning their sourcing needs. At Wabel Summits, we provide innovative, delicious brands that have products that are good for you!