Nutri-Score optimization

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isi GmbH

Starting in 2020, manufacturers are able to use Nutri-Score to inform consumers about the nutritional value of their products using an easy to understand Front-of-Pack label. This is a five-colour labelling system that ranges from dark red ("E" = unfavourable ingredients) to dark green ("A" = favourable ingredients). This gradation and coloured labelling make it particularly easy for consumers to identify and compare different alternatives.

Before manufacturers place the Nutri-Score label on the front of the packaging, they are often faced with the challenge of taking a critical look at the composition of their current products. The aim in all cases is to advertise the product with the best possible Nutri-Score or to work on improving the Nutri-Score.

The calculation of the Nutri-Score is based in one part on "unfavourable ingredients" such as the sugar, salt or saturated fatty acid content. It is also in part valued according to its energy density which increases the value. In addition, "favourable ingredients" such as proteins, dietary fibres or, for example, the fruit content, which reduce the value, are considered. The lower score derived from the combined sum of "unfavourable" and "favourable" ingredients together, the "better" the Nutri-Score.

In this article, our expert Robert Möslein explains how sensory research can help companies to reformulate their products to achieve a more favourable Nutri-Score.

Manufacturers are therefore increasingly focusing on the various ingredients that influence the Nutri-Score. Specific recipe changes can reduce "unfavourable ingredients" or increase "favourable ingredients" - for example, a manufacturer of frozen pizza could try to reduce both fat and salt content. What sounds relatively simple in theory, however, quickly turns out to be a very complex issue for product development:

For example, the fat content could be manipulated by changing the cheese, sauce or salami, whereby the fat content resulting from the cheese is in turn influenced by various recipe adjustments: the manufacturer as a result could use less cheese, as well as use a cheese with a lower fat content.

All recipe modification measures aimed at achieving a better Nutri-Score ultimately also involve the risk of a product changing in sensory terms. Less cheese or a cheese with a lower fat content may result in a different sensory experience when eating the pizza, leading consumers to be disappointed in "their familiar product" and turn elsewhere in the future.

This is where isi comes in with an intelligent toolbox. We advise you on all issues with a focus on sensory perception and consumer acceptance, which are associated with an improvement in the Nutri-Score:

  • Which of the various formulation changes towards an improved Nutri-Score have the least possible influence on my product profile, so that it remains as close to the "the old" product as possible?
  • What specific recipe changes should be acted upon to improve the Nutri-Score, while still continuing to appeal to consumers?
  • Are my consumers prepared to accept a changed sensory profile for a better Nutri-Score?
We will be happy to answer any further questions you may have. Contact us - we will advise you individually and without obligation and find an efficient solution for you to improve your Nutri-Score and at the same time not lose sight of the acceptance by your target group.



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