The influence of a front-of-pack nutrition label on product reformulation: A ten-year evaluation of the Dutch Choices programme

Food Chem X. 2020 Mar 25:6:100086. doi: 10.1016/j.fochx.2020.100086. eCollection 2020 Jun 30.


Front-of-pack (FoP) labels are regarded as helpful tools to stimulate healthier product reformulation as they are based on nutrient criteria that products should comply with in order to obtain the label. Some FoP labelling programs revise criteria periodically. This is the first study investigating the impact of criteria revisions on product compositions over time. Nutrient contents of 4,343 products, including 27 basic and non-basic product (sub) categories with the Dutch Choices Logo were analysed between 2006 and 2016. The number of labelled products increased over time. Sodium and trans-fat contents reduced significantly in 10 and 11 product categories, respectively. Energy, saturated fat and added sugar decreased significantly whilst fibre increased in 4-6 product categories. Overall, labelled products had healthier compositions and more favourable trends in nutrient content compared with products generally on the Dutch market. The results of this study suggest an important role for FoP labels in product reformulation.

Keywords: Dutch Choices Logo; Front-of-Pack nutrition labelling; Product nutrient composition; Product reformulation.