Hovis is to become an early adopter of the government’s new hybrid labelling scheme – meaning calories, fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt will be listed on the front of all of its branded packs.
Premier Foods, the company behind the Hovis brand, as well as a host of other food brands, said the decision represented its “commitment” under the Public Health Responsibility Deal and is designed to give consumers more consistent information to help manage their diets.
Gavin Darby, Premier Foods’ chief executive, said: “We’ve been voluntarily declaring GDA information on the front of pack for many years. However, the difference between manufacturer and retailer labelling schemes has been potentially confusing for consumers.
“While no labelling scheme is perfect, I believe the government’s new hybrid scheme provides the best opportunity to move towards one consistent approach in the UK. We wanted to make a quick decision on this so that we can plan label changes in the most cost-effective way.”
Over the next 18-24 months, the new labelling will be phased in across Premier Foods’ portfolio of brands including Ambrosia, Batchelors, Bisto, Hovis, Loyd Grossman, Mr Kipling, Oxo and Sharwood’s. Information on the calorie and key nutrient content per pack or portion will be provided according to a standardised format in relation to the Reference Intake for each nutrient (previously known as the Guideline Daily Amount or GDA).
The new labelling commitment complements other pledges that Premier Foods has made under the Responsibility Deal. These have resulted in the removal of artificial trans fats from the company’s portfolio in 2011 whilst 540 tonnes of salt were removed from its products by the end of 2012, significantly exceeding its original target of 286 tonnes. It has also committed to reducing calories across one-third of its portfolio by 2014 and ensuring that at least 30% of its new products each year will provide consumers with lower calorie choices.