Voluntary guidelines on communicating portion size to consumers

Date : 22 September 2009


  • Guidelines on communicating portion size on labels of packaged retail products
  • Information for caterers
  • Portion size tools for general consumer communications

Note that all portion size information provided on food labels must comply with EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.

Consuming appropriate portion sizes of food and drinks is important for energy balance, yet often consumers are not aware of what constitutes a portion.

This research has been designed to help food businesses communicate portion size to consumers, and will be helpful for those working in nutrition, product design, regulatory affairs, communications, CSR and marketing.

The voluntary guidelines on communicating portion size to consumers detailed in the report were developed by IGD’s Industry Nutrition Strategy Group (INSG). The group has previously published a number of reports looking at portion size communication including A review of existing approaches (2008), Understanding the consumer perspective (2009) and Portion size communication in therapeutic practice (2009).

Implementation of these voluntary guidelines will help businesses to provide consumers with the information they need to move towards a healthy balanced diet. The report does not give recommendations on actual portion sizes, but focuses on communication.

Information used in development of the guidelines includes:

  • A review of portion size information currently provided on food labels
  • Consumer attitudes to portion size information
  • Portion size communication by healthcare professionals

Recommendations are provided on further developments to help communicate portion size to consumers

This research is available as a summary of the guidelines alone, or the full report.