Kerry launches nutrition label calculator: 'Front-of-pack labels are becoming more important for brands'

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Kerry's new tool calculates FoP nutritional ratings / Pic: GettyImages-WeAre
Kerry's new tool calculates FoP nutritional ratings / Pic: GettyImages-WeAre

Related tags Nutritional labelling front-of-pack labelling

Kerry has developed the KerryNutri Guide, a tool to calculate how products perform across a range of front-of-pack nutritional labelling systems and guide users towards a better score. “The KerryNutri Guide makes it easier for us to partner with our customers on their goal to offer their customers healthier options, that taste great,” Albert McQuaid, Global Chief Science and Technology Officer at Kerry, tells FoodNavigator.

The KerryNutri Guide is an online tool that aims to help brands navigate the changing landscape of front-of-pack nutritional labels. It quantifies the nutrition score of products against more than ten global nutrient profiling models and points to ways that nutritional scores can be improved.

Using data entered by the user, the tool measures the impact of a product that is packaged and ready for the end consumer, calculating energy as well as saturated fat, sugar, fibre, protein and salt content. KerryNutri Guide then displays the nutrient score of each input, showing areas that are close to or exceeding a regulatory or dietary threshold.

“The user enters the nutrition data once, and the tool measures the product against 11 different government endorsed front of pack labelling systems and national legislation. The system embeds the detailed technical and legal requirements of each front of pack labelling systems and national legislation, accounting for all exceptions and nuances of each profiling system,”​ we were told.

Partnering with Kerry, manufacturers can thus use the scoring model to identify areas of reformulation and innovation that will result in an improved rating. “The aim of the tool is to help our customers create great tasting, healthier food and beverages. At Kerry, we have a huge range of nutrition and taste solutions and the RDA expertise to support our customers to do this,”​ the technology chief detailed.

Navigating the complexities of FoP labelling systems

McQuaid believes that front-of-pack nutritional labelling is a requirement that is going to grow in importance as the global regulatory landscape continues to shift. “In the past five years we have witnessed the most significant increase in nutrition restrictions and tax implementations to tackle obesity in history. Today over 40 countries worldwide use a front of pack nutrition label … The regulatory landscape keeps evolving, and consumers are becoming more health conscience, so FoP labels in particular are becoming more and more important for brands,”​ he observed.

To help its customers navigate varying global requirements, KerryNutri Guide offers regional insights and uses the data to replicate on-pack labels used in the EU, Brazil, the UK, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. For example, it will show the HFSS score of the product for the UK market and can also display what sugar taxes apply for each region in beverages.

Because the global patchwork of nutritional profiling models use different calculations, varying strategies will be needed to optimise how products are rated. “The NutriScore, UK HFSS model, and the Australian Health Star system all take a holistic approach to the nutrition of the product, taking into account saturated fat, sodium, sugar, energy, fibre, protein, and fruit, vegetable, and nut content, whereas the Latin America warning labels, for example, assess the nutrients individually, and focus only on nutrients that are negatively associated with health when over-consumed,”​ McQuaid explained.

In addition, the tool simulates what nutritional claims can be made on pack, whether the product is low in fat, sugar, salt, or is a source of fibre or protein.

The KerryNutri Guide is expected to prove a useful resource to large and small companies alike, FoodNavigator was told. “Both global and SME companies will benefit. Larger companies resonate with the fact that it includes models from all across the globe, whereas SMEs that may not have a nutrition resource benefit from the support the Kerry teams can provide with this calculator.

"It can be incredibly challenging for companies who sell products into multiple countries to understand exactly how these labelling systems will appear on their product. Using KerryNutri Guide, we can innovate with customers to create products that meet challenges such as sugar taxes, sodium reduction targets, and comprehensive nutritional profile models. We have a broad range of technologies that can support reformulation as well as leading insights to support manufacturers in a challenging environment. We need to work together to create a world of sustainable nutrition, that is better for people and the planet – KerryNutri Guide is one way that we can support customers in our joint goals.”

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