Intermarché threw its weight behind NutriScore in October when it was officially selected as France’s national nutrition label, adding to around 60 private label products.
"In 2018, we are accelerating and launching Nutri-Score on 800 brand-name products and at least 500 additional references on the e-commerce site,” said president of Sustainable Development of the Mousquetaires Group, which owns Intermarché, Jean-Marc L'Huillier.
Supermarkets Leclerc and Auchan and processed meat and seafood manufacturer Fleury Michon have also added the logo to their products.
A statement issued by Intermarché said it had met with the Ministry of Solidarity and Health and national public health agency Santé Publique France yesterday to discuss how it would support the logo, which will be added to its private label products under the Saint Eloi, Odyssey, Monique Ranou, Paquito, Jean Roze, IDS, Chabrior and Pastures brands.
In a nod to the Evolved Nutrition label, developed by Coca-Cola, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever, L’Huillier added: “We need a simple and easy-to-understand system. NutriScore should be the only nutrition label on the shelves. Multiplying the number of nutrition information systems only brings confusion to consumers.”
The Evolved Nutrition logo came under fire recently, criticised by consumer interest group Foodwatch for making products appear healthier than they are. Ferrero's chocolate and hazelnut-based spread, Nutella, contains 90% fat and sugar but has no red light, it said.
NutriScore was "developed by the government in collaboration with the scientific community", Intermarché said.
“I welcome all new manufacturers and distributors who use NutriScore, and invite other actors who are still hesitating to join this movement,” L’Huillier added.
Retailers are credited with having made the UK’s traffic light logo widespread in Britain. In 2012, the government struck a voluntary deal with the country’s major supermarkets that led to the logo, developed by the Food Standard’s Agency, becoming widespread.
The logo was initially opposed by Morrison’s, Aldi and Lidl but they eventually agreed to add it to their private label products. Frozen food retailer Iceland does not use the logo.
The Mousquetaires Group recorded a turnover of €40 billion in 2016.