Coca-Cola products in the United Kingdom will soon sport a system of traffic light coded labels and Reference Intakes (RIs) to indicate how much fat, salt and sugar an item contains.
This decision reverses the company’s previous position against adopting the UK government’s labeling system, first introduced last year. Since then, there has been a marked increase in consumer support for the scheme, with UK customers saying they want a consistent labeling system across all food and drink products.
The traffic light labeling system uses red, yellow and green on a front of pack nutrition label to identify whether products are high medium or low in sugar, fat, and salt. There are also figures to show how much one serving of the product contributes to the daily recommended intake. The new labels should appear on packs in stores within the first half of next year.
Coca-Cola says its adoption of the new labels is consistent with the company's global commitment to provide consumers with transparent nutrition information on the front of its packs.
"We have monitored the labeling scheme since it started to appear in-store and asked shoppers in Great Britain for their views,” said Jon Woods, general manager of Coca-Cola UK and Ireland. “Our UK consumers have told us they want a single, consistent front-of-pack labeling scheme across all food and drink products to help them make the right choices for them and their families.”
It’s always great to provide consumers with adequate information to make healthier choices, but it isn’t exactly rocket science that Coca-Cola isn’t conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Even Diet Coke and Coke Zero, while “less unhealthy” than regular Coke, are far from salubrious. But it’s all about moderation — the occasional Coke is not going to kill you.
Last year, Coca-Cola pledged to offer low or no-calorie beverage options in every market, while also providing transparent nutrition information that feature calories on the front of all packages. To help promote exercise, the company said it will support physical activity programs in every country in which it operates. Interestingly, Coca-Cola said it will begin to market responsibly, which includes no advertising to children under 12 anywhere in the world.