Which? urges high street to label their convenience food better

High street coffee chains and supermarkets have been criticised for not labelling their food products clearly, and as a result many consumers could be eating twice as much salt and three times as much fat then they think they are. The other criticism faced by top retailers such as Caffe Nero, Aldi, Tesco, Greggs, and Morrisons is that they do not put proper labelling on the front of their deli sandwich snacks; therefore, if a customer chose to eat somewhere else they would actually be receiving a healthier meal.

Which? the consumer group is behind the claim after they took a close look at the nutritional value of the most common sandwiches that are available for sale via many coffee chains and supermarkets such as the BLT, egg mayo and bacon, and chicken salad. What they found is that salt and fat varied widely between packages and due to poor inconsistent labeling practices it was not always clear to consumers what the healthy choice would be for them.

For example, a Morrisons chicken salad was found to contain almost twice as much fat as a chicken salad from Waitrose. Another example is the Lidl BLT which has almost twice as much salt as the one from Boots. Therefore, what one customer may think is healthy due to past experiences at other stores may be anything but. This is due to the fact that Lidl and Morrisons both do not use the traffic light system for their labels.

At the base of the argument is that the traffic light system should be adapted which makes it easy for customers to read since it makes use of red, amber, and green symbols that all indicate nutrients, salt, and fat levels.

It is not required to be used in the UK, but it does make it easier for customers to read the food labels and make a decision over what they should be eating versus what may be unhealthy for them. Which? is advocating that all manufacturers adopt this type of labelling to help make it easier for consumers to eat healthy items.