Front-of-pack nutrition labelling

Last updated:
19 June 2013
Woman reading product label in a store
On 19 June 2013, following detailed discussions with the food industry, health organisations and other interested parties, the Food Standards Agency in Scotland launched a new, front-of-pack nutrition labelling scheme to help consumers see at a glance what is in their food.

The new label is colour-coded red, amber and green, and highlights 'percentage reference intakes' (formerly known as guideline daily amounts), to show how much fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar and energy is in a product.

Red colour coding means the food or drink is high in this nutrient and we should try to have these foods less often or eat them in small amounts.

Amber means medium, and if a food contains mostly amber you can eat it most of the time.

Green means low, and the more green lights a label displays the healthier the choice.

The new scheme (an example of which is illustrated here), is recommended for use across the UK.


The Food Standards Agency has issued guidance to help businesses design front-of-pack labelling for their products.

The guidance was developed by the Department of Health, the Food Standards Agency, and devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in collaboration with the British Retail Consortium.

Background to the development of front-of-pack labelling and its evaluation can be found on the National Archive website.

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