Front of pack labelling: what consumers want

Date : 13 August 2019

Providing clearer food labelling was a priority of the Childhood Obesity Strategy. The government recognised that to make healthier choices, shoppers need to be empowered by the nutrition information available on pack.


IGD has undertaken a large amount of consumer research on front of pack (FOP) nutrition information, involving over 7,000 consumers, to understand the barriers and opportunities for using FOP traffic light labels.

Some key findings:

  • FOP, traffic light nutrition labels are present on the majority of pre-packaged food and drink products1
  • Shoppers prefer traffic lights to monochrome lozenges as they provide a ‘good shortcut to information,’ are ‘more eye-catching’ and are easier to compare2
  • Some shoppers are sceptical when traffic lights are not present2
  • 72% of shoppers agreed that it would be easier to understand food labels if they were consistent displayed across all products2
  • 83% of shoppers agree that you don’t have to avoid all red but eating fewer can help achieve a healthier diet2


The findings of our research supported the creation of our best practice guide for designing and presenting FOP nutrition labels.


The guide provides information for designing your packaging for optimal comprehension and was created with experts such as registered nutritionists and semiologists.


  1. FDF, 2018. Food information to consumers.
  2. IGD, 2016-2018. Nutrition Information on Pack. Available here.