Morrisons is to roll out a breakaway front of pack labelling system to hundreds of food items by the end of 2021. The current traffic lights model, which was brought in by the Department of Health in 2013, has long been criticised for its accuracy.
The supermarket giant has launched its own nutrient profiling model, which is a combination of the UK’s 2004/05 nutrient profile system, the French nutriscore system and the Australian Health Star Rating.
The Government launched a consultation on plans for a possible replacement for the traffic lights system last year which will decide on whether it will stick or not.
The nutrient traffic light system, which can be found on the front of thousands of food items in various different supermarkets, tells customers how high in fat, sugar or protein the food is.
Customers can see the new labelling system on some food products already.
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Morrisons also launched a new healthy eating range in January, Nourish, which currently includes 54 products with specific nutritional benefits.
A Morrisons spokesperson said: “We are committed to helping our customers make healthier choices and we are supportive of measuring performance and setting meaningful targets.
“We already publish the proportion of our own-brand products which are classed as healthy and have a commitment to increase this.”
It comes after supermarkets have been criticised for the lack of accessibility to healthier foods, with obesity being a growing problem in the UK.
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Morrisons was recently criticised by a group of investors for being the only supermarket in the UK that has not shifted its sales toward healthier products, posing a risk in business amid regulatory and consumer trends in healthier diets.
The grocer expects that 65 percent of its own-brand products will be healthier by 2025.
In April, the supermarket announced a brand new range of ready meals, with a focus on quality ingredients, added protein and lower levels of fat, sugar and salt.
As well as the flavour makeover, development chefs at Morrisons have also stripped 114 million calories, 13 tonnes of fat, six tonnes of saturated fat, one tonne of sugar, and three tonnes of salt from its dishes to help Britons make healthier choices.
Sarah Newton, Senior Product Development Manager at Morrisons, said: “As a nation, we’ve had more time in the kitchen over the past few months than we could have possibly imagined.
“Now that customers’ lives are getting busier, we want to make preparing delicious dinners as easy as possible.
“We’re also pleased to be offering even better taste, but with lower fat and sugar with these new ready meals.”
Recently, supermarket giant Tesco set out its four-year plan of reformulation to improve the health profile of products.
Customers will also have access to healthier ready meals like Morrisons, with the retailer planning to increase the percentage of ready meals that contain at least one of the recommended five a day to 66 percent within the next four years.
Tesco Group CEO Ken Murphy said: “Customers are telling us they want to eat a more healthy, sustainable diet, but without having to stretch the weekly shopping budget.
“By making even very small changes to the items they put in their basket week in week out, we can help them make that change.
“We’ve worked hard to help our customers eat healthily and we’re proud of our track record, and it’s clear we can do more.
“Today we are sharing our stretching new ambitions on health, and committing to reporting our progress against them.”