© Ministères Sociaux / DICOM / Jacky d.Frenoy

Stéphane Travert, French Minister of Agriculture and Food, accompanied by the Minister of Health and Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (for consumer protection policies), signed a decree concerning the Nutri-score nutritional labeling system in France (a visual nutritional information system). Multiple different large grocery store companies are already participating in the program and use the Nutri-score system on their products.

The data that appears today on the backs of food products do not easily allow someone to quickly obtain an idea about their nutritional quality. However, it is necessary for the nutritional information to become an element in food choices to the same extent as price, brand, presentation or taste in order to encourage access to a well-balanced diet. It is in this light that the Law on the Modernization of our Health System provided that public authorities recommend a more global system of nutritional labeling, which is simple and accessible to all, to be placed on the front of food products.

Nutri-score is the mechanism that the public authorities chose to recommend at the end of a procedure founded on dialogues with all interested parties. It is a graphical display which brings together in five classes the nutritional score of food products. On a five-color scale (from dark green to red), each associated with letter grades ranging from A (best nutritional quality) to E (inferior nutritional quality), Nutri-score provides consumers with information that is easy to read and understand on the all-around nutritional quality of products. The consumer can thus easily compare products on the same shelf and direct their purchases towards foods with higher nutritional quality.

“Nutri-score is a very concrete answer to consumer demands, and which allows us to reposition food at the heart of issues of public health,” Minister Travert said. “By offering better information to consumers, simplified nutritional labels will play a role in the evolution of consumption practices and will contribute to the improvement of the supply of healthy, processed food products.”