EUROPE – Nestlé has announced that it is extending the use of the Nutri-Score nutrition labelling to its food and beverage products in Spain and Portugal, in a move that will see the company utilize the food labelling system in a total of eight countries across Europe.

Nutri-Score is a color-coded system that classifies food and drinks according to their nutritional profile. It gives a score ranging from A (healthier choices) to E (less healthy choices). The simple format of Nutri-Score helps people to make intuitive food choices at a first glance.

Nestlé said that its brands with Nutri-Score are already available for consumers in Spain and Portugal. These brands include breakfast cereals Fitness Original, Nesquik Alphabet and Chocapic Bio as well as Garden Gourmet plant-based food.

By implementing the system in Portugal and Spain, Nestlé will have expanded its efforts in informing consumer choices beyond Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and its home country, Switzerland.

“I’m proud that we’re extending the implementation of Nutri-Score to Southern Europe. With Spain and Portugal, we’ll now have 7500 Nestlé products featuring Nutri-Score across the continent,” said Marco Settembri, Nestlé CEO for Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

“Further studies have confirmed what we believe: Nutri-Score works with consumers in Europe and it has the potential to become the EU-wide system.”

Nestlé’s move comes at a time when stakeholders are calling for adoption of Nutri-Score as a mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling system across the European Union.

In April, nearly 40 stakeholders across the industry – including consumer organizations, academics, Members of European Parliament and food industry players – sent a joint letter to the EU Commission requesting for a legislative proposal to introduce the Nutri-Score EU-wide.

At the same time, consumer evidence in support of Nutri-Score has also continued to grow in the recent past. Research has so far been conducted in more than 15 countries with results showing that Nutri-Score is the most efficient labelling to help consumers make informed food choices.

In countries that already implement Nutri-Score, the system is also gaining popularity. In Belgium for instance, a recent survey shown that a majority of consumers would like Nutri-Score to become mandatory.

As for the other countries, Nestlé said that it will use Nutri-Score across brands of its wholly owned businesses in Spain and Portugal, further reinforcing its support for Nutri-Score as the preferred nutrition labeling scheme for food and beverage products in continental Europe.

The company also noted that Cereal Partners Worldwide, the international breakfast venture between Nestlé and General Mills, will also implement Nutri-Score on its product packaging in the same countries.

According to the company, the Nutri-Score implementation in Spain and Portugal will take place over a two-year period.

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