Nutrition Labelling

Nordic Recommendations Based on Consumer Opinions

Nordic recommendations on nutrition labelling Nordic work on general labelling of pre-packed foods in 2002 led to a Nordic Policy towards the labelling of Foods, published in the report TemaNord 2002:589. Since then a Nordic project has been working on nutrition labelling of foods. The project group has concluded that as there is no perfect model for nutritional information, a nutrition label is always a compromise between many demands. A nutrition label is a tool for delivering information, to be supported by educational and other efforts. Fortification of food products was not included in this work. The conclusions regarding nutrition labelling are the following recommendations:

I. Nutrition labelling should be mandatory on all pre-packed foods.

II. Nutrition labels should be standardised. No asterisks, or footnotes. Legible text.

III. Nutrients. Nutrition information should consist of the following mandatory list:


Fat of which hard fat

Carbohydrates of which sugars




IV. Mandatory formats should give information:

1. Per 100 g, and

2. Per portion (item or household measure explanation in brackets)

3. A simple guidance system - low / high or symbols - should be devised and tested. Recommended daily intake (RDI) should not be used as this concept is too complicated.

These four recommendations have been presented to the two Nordic Committees responsible, namely those for Food Issues and Consumer Affairs. Both Committees adopted the recommendations put forward, and in their turn recommended that the Council of Ministers accept the recommendations as guidelines for the Nordic work regarding nutrition labelling. The Nordic ministers for fisheries, agriculture, forestry and foods have made a decision in accordance with this recommendation.