Don’t be surprised if your favorite products go from a nutri-score B to C or C to E, since this year the rules for food production are tightening. Announced in April 2023, the regulations came into force. A decision taken by health authorities to reassess “the classification of foods and drinks consistent with the main dietary recommendations of European countries”.
The nutri-score: a nutritional guide
Having become the essential criterion when doing our shopping and a guarantee of trust between consumers and producers, the nutri-score dictates our choices. This labeling system provides information on the quality of food. Depending on the degree of processing of a product and its quality nutrient content, the grade varies from A to E. Suffice to say that we no longer do without it. Consumers say that a type E nutri-score can influence their refusal to take the product. Unlike an A or B, a grade which will encourage the act of purchase.
Products that are too sweet, salty or processed: a health issue
Less salt, sugar and sweeteners, more protein and fiber, this is the objective of the health authorities: to rebalance consumers’ diets.
In June 2023, Inserm (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) recalled in a study that “a significant consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia and of cancer. » For good reason, these so-called “ultra-processed” products contain too high, or even unnecessary, levels of sugars, sweeteners and additives. Remember, sugar, consumed in too large quantities, leads to excess weight, risk of tooth decay and diabetes. Another ingredient is all too often present in food: salt. This flavor enhancer certainly makes our dishes delicious, but if it is too present in our daily lives, it increases blood pressure. An additional factor in the risk of diabetes and obesity.
Product ratings will drop
To compensate and reduce excessive consumption of these products, the categorization of certain products has been re-studied. Now, nuts and seeds are no longer part of the fruits and vegetables category; oilseeds join fats and oils; and red meat and poultry are no longer valued at the same level.
While breakfast cereals risk seeing their score decrease, going from A to C for some, plant-based milks could reach the lowest ranking: “E”. Good news, however, for vegetable oils and fatty fish, whose score will be revised upwards.
Companies are changing their recipes
We know that the nutri-score influences the decision to purchase a product on the shelves. The most privileged are rated A or B, and the least are rated C,D,E. So that this new regulation does not cause their consumers to flee, agri-food companies are changing their recipes. After the announcement of the new regulations, Caroline Bruon, marketing director of Le Gaulois explained to TF1: “In our entire range of breaded breads, we are going to remove a little salt from each of the components and put more meat in our products to increase the amounts of protein. We will also reduce the fat levels a little.” The decision of the health authorities seems to be bearing fruit, optimizing the presence of healthier products on the supermarket shelves.