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Product News

UK Government Launches a Consultation into Food Labelling Laws

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Product News

UK Government Launches a Consultation into Food Labelling Laws

This week the Government consultation has set out new proposals to launch tougher food labelling laws to help the 2 million people living with food allergies in the UK. These proposals aim to ensure that consumers with allergies can purchase foods with confidence that this won't cause them any potential harm. This consultation has put forward four proposals for how allergy advice is given in the future: promoting “best practice around communicating allergen information to consumers”, “ask the staff” labels, full ingredient listing and allergen-only labelling.

Ubamarket have introduced its Allergy Alerts feature, bringing the small print to life and making sure that UK consumers are informed and knowledgeable about the food in their trollies. UK shoppers will be able to scan items using the Ubamarket app and receive an alert for any allergens, including whether the item is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

• 44% of respondents (22,958,441) said that food labels are difficult and at times impossible to read
• 25% of respondents (7,826,150) are vegetarians, vegans and/or Coeliacs have eaten meat, dairy or wheat because of poor labelling
• 30% (12,948,249) say food labels make it harder to maintain a healthy diet
• 19% (6,370,122) have had an attempt at a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet scuppered by confusing food labels
• 28% of the nation (12,090,232) say that the complicated food labels are the primary reason they find dieting difficult
• 52% of respondents (26,078,01) agreed that the complicated nature of UK food labels make it difficult for people with dietary requirements to make informed decisions about their food
• 39% of the nation (17,914,344) don’t feel that they know enough about the ingredients in the food they eat
• 44% of respondents (22,984,441) wish there was a solution that made figuring out food ingredients easier

For those of us with allergies, dietary requirements, health concerns or simply those that don’t enjoy certain ingredients, food labels are essential. However, Ubamarket’s research has found that almost 23m shoppers find the labels impossible to read. Clearly, what should be an informational tool is not serving its purpose. With the UK retail arena under acute scrutiny, supermarkets need to become aware that consumers shop with more thought and consideration of nutritional and ingredient contents, choosing specific diets that they are committed to sticking to. Once supermarkets are ready to address this, the next step will be implementing structures to make those consumer profiles feel that their unique nutritional habits are catered for.

Most common dietary mishaps:

• 81% (42.4 million) of the nation are not aware that soy sauce contains gluten
• 79% (41.3 million) of the nation do not know that ice-cream contains gluten
• 32% (16.7 million) are not aware that pesto is not non-vegetarian, even though most pesto is made using grana padano cheese
• 18% (9.5 million) erroneously believe that parmesan is vegetarian, when in fact it is made using rennet, a by-product of the calf meat industry
• 16% (8.4 million) believe that crisps are vegan when most crisps contain dairy products
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