Major retailers to adopt Daily Intake Guide labelling

Posted by James Ferre on 1st October 2008

Retailers Woolworths, Coles, and Franklins have today joined the Australian Food and Grocery Council in a push toward the Daily Intake Guide, with a plan to adopt the labelling system on private label products.

The Daily Intake Guide is a front-of-pack food labelling system developed in consultation with dietitians and health experts to assist consumers in understanding what’s in a serve of a particular product and how it contributes to their daily diet.

Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) CEO Margy Osmond said that this was an industry-wide commitment aimed at assisting consumers to construct and maintain healthy diets. “The current nutrition information panel can be confusing for some people. While it contains all of the necessary information about key nutrients, there is nothing to help consumers understand if the amounts they are reading are a little or a lot,” Mrs Osmond claimed. “The Daily Intake Guide makes it easier for consumers to interpret this information to meet their own needs. Our members are aiming to apply this labelling across a wide range of food and beverage products available in the supermarket.”

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said the retailer-manufacturer commitment includes an option to provide daily intake information for energy plus the four main nutrients of interest – fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium. “These all have significance for good health and it’s important that people think about their family’s dietary needs when making food purchases,” the AFGC advised.

“We will be working with governments and health professionals to provide shoppers with a practical guide on how to use this information. For example, most of us eat three meals and day and have one or two snacks, so we should aim to keep our kilojoule allowance for a main meal around 25 to 30 per cent and our snacks between 5 and 10 per cent,” Ms Carnell said.

The labelling debate has intensified this week following the release of a report from consumer and health groups, including CHOICE and the Cancer Council, which called for the use of the ‘traffic light’ labelling scheme instead of the Daily Intake Guide – claiming the ‘traffic light’ system would provide an easier-to-use system.

This joint partnership means that Daily Intake Guide labelling will appear on the majority of private label products on supermarket shelves over the next two years.