Food Industry Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits By Increasing Adoption of GDA Nutrition Labelling in Asia

SINGAPORE – Fast Facts on Packs, Food Industry Asia’s (FIA) Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) Nutrition Labelling Report 2016 released today, reveals that significant progress has been made in driving availability and awareness of GDA nutrition labelling as an industry initiative to tackle obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by encouraging consumers to make healthy choices.

Higher GDA adoption since 2012

The findings showed that out of the 13 FIA members surveyed across 19 Asian markets, 85% had rolled out GDA labelling, and more widely across more product categories.

FIA members have achieved 52% adoption growth in Asia and 58% in Southeast Asian countries since making a collective commitment to adopt a front-of-pack GDA labelling approach in Asian markets based on a common set of criteria in 2010, as one of many industry-led initiatives to tackle the growing incidence of obesity and NCDs in the region.

Front-of-pack GDA labelling is a valuable tool to help people understand more about the nutritional value of the food they eat. Being able to quickly identify the level of calories in a product makes it simple for consumers to focus on the most important factor in managing their energy balance and use this labelling information to make simple changes to improve their diet.

The GDA Nutrition Labelling Report 2016 is a follow-up of the first study conducted in 2012. It provides the industry with information on the progress of the GDA rollout in the region, as well as whether the adoption percentage of the labelling scheme has improved since the first study.

“The survey enables our members to monitor their own voluntary initiatives as part of the effort to provide informative labelling based on scientific studies and international recommendations,” explained Matt Kovac, Executive Director of FIA.

Key findings from GDA Nutrition Labelling Report 2016

• In the last few years, GDA labelling has become much more common across many markets in Southeast Asia. The general trend points towards a wider adoption of GDA labelling among FIA members
• The adoption of GDA labelling is most prevalent in Singapore with 11 out of 13 FIA members using GDA labels for all or some SKUs
Malaysia comes in second where 10 members have rolled-out GDA labels
• The Philippines has seen the most progress in GDA labelling since 2012; nine FIA members now have GDA labels for all or some SKUs compared to three members previously
Vietnam is set to see greater GDA labelling with three FIA members indicating their intent to implement labelling in some or all SKUs in the country
All other markets can also expect to see an expansion of GDA labelling to other product categories

“FIA members recognise the clear benefits of front-of-pack GDA labelling adoption: GDAs are factual, objective, science-based, and informative,” explained Kovac.

“GDA labelling is in line with FIA and members’ beliefs of having monochromatic, fact-based information to consumers. It is very straightforward and clear, which helps consumers make informed dietary choices.”

FIA member companies are also keen on harmonising nutrition labels as GDAs allow companies to have a single label across countries, which facilitates trade and supports consistent labelling for consumers.

FIA initiates consumer-centric study to better understand Asian consumers

FIA members agree there is greater need to strengthen nutrition labelling awareness and education among Asian consumers. FIA plans to implement a consumer-centric study in 2017 to canvass insights towards consumer behaviour and understanding of nutrition labelling.

Kovac explained further on FIA’s initiative: “A study on regional sentiments towards general nutrition, dietary habits and how labelling plays an important role to educate consumers about making appropriate individual choices will provide FIA with valuable insights.

FIA will develop and launch an informative, online nutrition knowledge centre later this year to offer consumers an accessible, easy-to-understand information starting with GDA labelling.

Collaborations for better health in Asia

FIA, while serving as a knowledge hub for Asia’s national industry associations and affiliated groups, is committed to working collaboratively with governments and policy makers in the development of science-based policy in Asia. As the first and only Asian food industry representative on the international food standards in Codex (Codex Alimentarious Commission), FIA will contribute to the development of front-of-pack nutrition labelling. Currently, Codex does not have a harmonised guideline on Front-of-Pack (FOP) nutrition labelling. FOP nutrition labelling as a new harmonisation initiative was just proposed this year by the Codex Committee on Food Labelling.

FIA also seeks to create more awareness of nutrition and GDA labelling and provide better nutrition labelling education for consumers through stronger collaborations with local food industry associations, small and medium F&B enterprises, food retailers, supermarket chains, schools, NGOs and policymakers.

Choosing to adopt labels signifies a company’s responsibility and commitment towards helping consumers make better informed choices,” concludes Kovac.

Click here for the Fast Facts on Packs report and here for an infographic on GDA labelling and the report's key findings.

Click here to watch a short video, Understanding GDA Nutrition Labelling, that seeks to help consumers better understand GDA nutrition labelling, in order to make healthier eating choices.


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Media contact:

Steven Bartholomeusz / Amelia Chong
Food Industry Asia
T: +65 6235 3854
steven.bartholomeusz@foodindustry.asia / amelia.chong@foodindustry.asia

Joy Fong
Ruder Finn Asia (PR Agency)
T: +65 6336 6742
fongj@ruderfinnasia.com

Food Industry Asia (FIA) is a non-profit organisation that was formed in 2010 to enable major food manufacturers to speak with one voice on complex issues such as health & nutrition, food safety and the harmonisation of standards. From its base in Singapore, FIA seeks to enhance the industry's role as a trusted partner and collaborator in the development of science-based policy throughout Asia. To do so means acting as a knowledge hub for Asia’s national industry associations and affiliated groups to support with their engagement of public bodies and other stakeholders across the region.

 
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