Spanish retailer Eroski has become the first supermarket in the country to introduce an advanced nutritional labelling system.
The Nutri-Score system enables consumers to check the nutritional value of the food products, splitting them into five categories indicated by coloured letters (from “A” in dark green, to “E” in dark orange), depending on their calories, nutrients and ingredients.
The initiative was designed by a team of academics and scientists, and once the work was complete Eroski asked members what they thought of the scheme. Over 10,000 took part in the survey, with 85% approving the measure on the ground that it was a useful and complex tool for customers to eat healthier.
Approved by the Spanish Ministry of Health, European Union, and World Health Organisation, the system is already in operation, with the first own-brand Nutri-Score products – tins of chopped tomatoes and steam-in-bag microwavable potatoes – available on Eroski’s shelves. The retailer plans to add the labelling on all of its own-brand products by the end of the year.
“Having access to comprehensive information about the nutritional quality of the products is a crucial aspect in developing a healthy diet and also one of our commitments in terms of health and sustainability,” said the retailer’s director of health and sustainability Alejandro Martínez Berriochoa.
“Therefore, at Eroski we strive to always be at the forefront of information transparency and rely on the most advanced systems to make it easier for consumers to have greater information when it comes to designing their diet and to be able to have a balanced, healthier and sustainable diet.”
Eroski’s own-brand products already include a nutritional traffic lights system, which was added in 2007.
“The two systems complement each other,” added Mr Berriochoa. “With its incorporation, the consumer will be able to easily know the global nutritional assessment of each product in order to compare it with similar ones and choose better, without losing the information detailed by nutrient provided by the Nutritional Traffic Light.”
Eroski forms part of the Mondragon Group, the world’s largest worker owned co-operative.