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Tesco and Lidl to use traffic light labelling

IT'LL be green for go when a new system of 'traffic light labels' hits our grocery shelves.

Plans are in place for supermarkets to adopt a new system to make it easier for customers to know which foods are healthiest before they buy.

The project, which was agreed by all major UK supermarkets in recent days, will be tried here by Tesco and Lidl.

It will involve the stores placing red, amber and green labels for packaged foods to indicate if they are high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt.


In the simplest terms, red means that the food should be avoided, amber stock should be eaten in moderation while items with a green symbol can be freely consumed.

The idea is that consumers will be able to understand the make-up of food they are buying without having to read the full label. It is hoped that the move will help the fight against our growing obesity problem.

Tesco Ireland said it intends to roll out traffic light labelling here, but the details have not yet been worked out.

It is expected to be next year when the new labels are introduced here and in the UK.

Lidl said it will also roll out the new traffic light labels at its Irish outlets.

"Lidl Ireland can confirm that it will be adopting a hybrid labelling system that will incorporate the existing Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) with the 'traffic light' colour coding system," a spokesperson said.

Aldi Ireland could not say if it will use the system here .

The Consumers Association of Ireland welcomed the move, even if it was "by the back door" via the UK.

Safefood, which promotes healthy eating in Ireland, said it welcomed anything which made it easier for consumers.

"We welcome anything that makes nutritional information easy to understand" a spokesperson said.