Consumers are in favour of a single front-of-pack (FOP) labelling scheme, according to the results of a research project by the Project Management Panel, commissioned by the Food Standards Agency.

The aim of the study, led by an independent group of experts, was to evaluate the impact of different FOP nutritional signposting schemes on consumer understanding and behaviour, and to establish which type is most effective.

The outcome of the research showed that a single FOP scheme would be best for consumers, in order to avoid confusion. Most useful is judged to be a label that combines the indicators ’high, medium and low’, traffic light colours and the percentage of a consumer’s Guideline Daily Amount (GDA).

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said that committing to a change in FOP labelling now would be premature, as a European review of labelling is currently under way. "Until a final decision about a front-of-pack labelling scheme is taken at European level, it would be premature for the UK to adopt any new regime of its own," said BRC director general Stephen Robertson.

The project also found that consumers had a high level of understanding of FOP labels. Other factors influencing their purchasing decisions included labels that indicated it was part of a ’healthy’ range.

organic, as well as the overall look of the product.