Food labels can contain so much information that it’s often difficult to know what it all means as we hurry around the supermarket to make the family food purchases.

Some labeling, which may suggest ‘healthy’ food, is ambiguous. Some products are marked ‘reduced fat’, some ‘low fat’. Sugar is not always listed in the ingredients as ‘sugar’. This can all be confusing to the consumer.

With this in mind, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) developed a ‘traffic light’ nutrition labelling system to help consumers make healthier choices more quickly and easily.

The traffic light system is located on the front of packaging (FOP) and allows the consumer to see, at a glance, whether foods are high (red), moderate (amber) or low (green) in fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt. However, whilst this system is currently adopted on individual food packaging, the consumer has little knowledge or understanding as to the general healthiness (or not) of their overall purchases.

The University of Gloucestershire, in collaboration with London-based creative designer Hayden Peek, is carrying out a research project to determine to what extent consumers currently use existing FOP traffic light nutrition labeling to make their food choices or whether an alternative receipt-based summary may be a more useful tool instead.

© Hayden Peek
© Hayden Peek

Dr Matt Cole, who is a Senior Lecturer in Sport, Exercise & Health Nutrition at the University of Gloucestershire, said,

“This is an innovative approach to nutritional information on till receipts in shops. To help us carry out the research, we would like as many people as possible to take part in our online survey, which only takes a few minutes to complete. All data will remain anonymous and will only be used for research purposes. The link to the survey is

The online survey is open until 10th June.



Information for Editors:


Dr Matt Cole, Senior Lecturer in Sport, Exercise & Health Nutrition

Academic Course Leader: BSc Sports Strength & Conditioning / Fast Track BSc

University of Gloucestershire,


Telephone: 01242 715205

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