Food labelling

The label on a food package should give you the information you need when deciding whether to buy it or leave it on the shelf.

Front-of-pack nutritional labelling

Consumers should be able to be confident with their food choices and buy according to their particular requirements, be it for diet or health, personal tastes and preferences or cost.

Following detailed discussions with the food industry, health organisations and other interested parties, the countries of the UK launched a new, front-of-pack nutrition labelling scheme to help consumers see at a glance what is in their food.

The 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.


Guidance to help businesses design front-of-pack labelling for their products 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.