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Migros drops the Nutri-Score for its own food – Kassenrutsch Espresso

Migros drops the Nutri-Score for its own food – Kassenrutsch Espresso


Migros is the first major Swiss distributor to introduce Nutri-Score on its own products.

What are Nutri Points? The colored scale on the packaging is intended to give consumers guidance when shopping. Its color ranges from green A to red E. Green means healthier and more balanced than yellow, orange or red. Important: Nutri-Score compares products within a food group. Drinks, for example, baked goods or frozen pizza. So soft drinks cannot be compared to pizza.

How is classification determined? The voluntary label was developed by independent researchers and was first introduced in France. The system compares positive ingredients (vegetables, fruits, nuts, fiber) with ingredients that may cause problems. Sugar, for example, salt or saturated fat. Nutri-Score can now be found in several thousand products.

Why does Migros no longer want to know anything about Nutri-Score? Three years after its introduction, Migros has reached a negative conclusion. “Experience has shown that the benefits are very small compared to the costs,” says Carmen Hefti, media spokesperson for Migros, in SRF's Espresso consumer magazine. Specifically, it takes a lot of effort to integrate Nutri-Score into the private label portfolio. On the contrary, the mark has repeatedly caused questions and uncertainty among customers.

What alternative does Migros offer? Instead of the Nutri-Score, Migros wants to focus more on the nutritional information per serving. For this purpose, the daily reference amount should be published online and on the packaging.

What are the reactions to Migros' decision? The federal government is committed to Nutri-Score. The Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (BLV) is responsible. They regret Migros' decision: “This is bad news for consumers. The benefit of the Nutri-Score increases as there are more comparable products. A wide range of products is no longer available,” says Sarah Kamenich, a BLV spokeswoman.

Controversial label

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Nutri-Score has been controversial since its introduction. It repeatedly raises political debates across Europe. For some, the nomenclature is an oversimplification, for others it is useful information. In the European Union, among other things, the mandatory introduction of Nutri-Score is being discussed.

Criticism also comes from the Consumer Protection Foundation (SKS). Its managing director Sarah Stalder believes Migros left too early: “It would have taken a long time to get it done. It was important to print the label on all the food. Then people could use it correctly.”

How do other retailers handle Nutri-Score? Different. Some are enthusiastic, others are critical. For example, Lidl and Aldi Suisse want to continue using Nutri-Score. Lidl wants to gradually increase the number of its products bearing the label. There it is seen as “a simple and quick guide to making informed decisions for a healthy diet,” writes Liddell at the request of “Espresso.” On the other hand, Coop does not use the Nutri-Score for its own brands. Neither this nor any other classification system takes into account all important aspects of a food from a health perspective. Therefore, Coop relies on what is called the “nutrient profile” – the nutritional table on the back of the package.