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Category F: Labeling

Category F consists of two criteria:
  • F1 Product Labeling
  • F2 Claims
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One important means of promoting healthy diets and addressing malnutrition is to provide consumers with accurate, comprehensive and readily understandable information about the nutritional composition and potential health benefits of what they eat. This can promote better nutrition by helping consumers choose appropriate products to manage their weight and prevent or address diet-related chronic disease, and to raise awareness of products that address micronutrient deficiencies. This category assesses companies’ approaches to product labeling and use of health and nutrition claims, across product portfolios and in accordance with local and international standards (Codex Alimentarius).

F1
Product labeling
F2
Claims
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Did not provide information to ATNI
Findings
  • Since 2016, some companies have improved their product packaging by labeling more key nutrients such as sodium, saturated fat (separate to total fat), trans-fat and dietary fiber. Currently, these nutrients are not part of FSSAI’s mandatory labeling regulations, but six companies disclose their commitment to labeling them in a publicly available policy. Among all companies assessed, only four companies have committed to labeling dietary fiber. It is therefore the least labeled key nutrient.
  • Ten of the 16 companies publish nutrition information about some of their products on their websites. However, the research found clear evidence that only five companies – Britannia Industries, Coca-Cola India, Hindustan Unilever, KMF Nandini and PepsiCo India – provide coverage of 90% of their products or more.
  • Eight companies commit to adhere to FSSAI’s 2018 Advertising and Claims Regulation, which came into force in 2019. However, only five companies publicly disclose how they comply with this regulation (Britannia Industries, Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Mondelez India and Nestlé India). Overall disclosure practices remain weak and most companies haven’t adopted or published a policy covering both the labeling and use of nutrition and health claims.
Recommendations

ATNI recommends that companies:

  • Formally commit to label all key nutrients on-pack for all products, as stipulated by Codex Alimentarius, and further adopt interpretative FOP labeling, especially in alignment with ongoing discussions with the Government and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Adopt and publish a formal and comprehensive policy covering both nutrition labeling and use of nutrition and health claims.
  • Publish nutrition information online for all products, including relevant elements such as portion size.
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