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Nutri-Score: Valuable Tool or Clever Marketing Trick?

In contrast to twenty years ago, the modern consumer is continuously seduced to start snacking. The range in supermarkets, kiosks and petrol stations has dramatically expanded. We can eat anywhere and anytime. How do you make healthy choices? The Nutri-Score printed on packaging could offer help. But is this international certification as transparent as it seems? Prominent stays curious and started an investigation.

Modern consumers are becoming unhealthier

With an increasing amount of lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes type two, consumers are becoming unhealthier. Limited exercise and unhealthy food choices ultimately lead to enormous social problems. If the advice of the Dutch Health Council to eat 200 grams of fruit and 200 grams of vegetables each day is not followed – an average Dutch adult eats 112 grams of fruit and 143 grams of vegetables – and there aren’t any signs of improvement, action needs to be taken

Does the Nutri-Score offer clarity, or does it cause confusion?

The Nutri-Score is an international certification to help consumers make healthier choices. A score – A (green) for a healthy option to E (red) for an unhealthy option – instantly shows if the product suits a healthy lifestyle. A high concentration of fruit and vegetables, fibres and protein result in an A score, whereas too many sugars, salt and saturated fatty acids give a low score.

An article on Foodlog questions the credibility of the Nutri-Score. Is this certification as honest as it claims to be? First of all, products like unpackaged fruit and vegetables are excluded. This is remarkable, as these are the healthiest food choice consumers can make. Secondly, multinationals can manipulate the requirements and promote unhealthy products as healthy. For example, by adding a certain amount of highly processed fruit and vegetables – not even recognisable as the fruit and vegetables we know – to unhealthy products, so the Nutri-Score scores high after all.

Making healthy choices? Rely on common sense

How can we prevent consumers from being misled by false health claims? By stimulating them to rely on their common sense. And by keeping them informed about healthy produce and keeping them inspired with appealing promotions and recipes. Why would you purchase a readymade lasagne for example, that is full of added sugars, salt and preservatives? Even if the Nutri-Score presents it as a healthy option. A homemade lasagne with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs is not only much healthier, but tastier too. Also, consumers are becoming more aware of the ingredients they are using. And awareness is the first step to a healthy lifestyle. No certification can top that!

DOOR Partners / Prominent wishes you a healthy and convenient 2020. Curious to learn more about our fresh produce? Do not hesitate to get in touch with Wim van den Berg of DOOR Partners / Prominent: w.vandenberg@doorpartners.nl or +31 (0)6 5756 4346.

The sales, marketing and quality control of Prominent tomatoes are handled by Door Partners B.V. This sales subsidiary forms part of the Grower Cooperative DOOR U.A.

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