Monday, 19 November 2012

Food labelling and checkout sweeties – our mums have their say

The Government has announced it is going to introduce a voluntary traffic light labelling system for foods in supermarkets to help people make healthier food choices.  An Asda representative was interviewed on Radio 4 about the scheme and was taken to task over their 'guilty' checkouts (filled with sweet and treats).
We wanted to know from our MumPanel how much notice they take of food labelling and whether a traffic light system would help them make healthier food choices for their family? And we wanted to know their views on sweets and treats at the checkout…

Food labelling…

Insight snippets
  •  Mums like the idea because it might save them time instead of having to scan the back of packets.
  • Food labelling doesn’t stop them purchasing if they have already planned to buy a particular product.
  • Mums would like to see more nutritional information for babies and children on packaging, parents often refer to back of packs when buying for children.
  • A standardised system would be best – mums don’t have time to stop and figure things out in a supermarket.
"I like the traffic light system on foods as they help me make a healthier choice. I think they're especially helpful on ready meals which I ate a lot of when OH went back to work from paternity leave as they were easier when baby would be crying, which always seemed to be when I started to make food. I try to eat healthy more for my baby breastfeeding than for myself."

"A standardised traffic light system is a great idea. Quite a few foods do have them already however like a lot of people have been saying it can be confusing as different brands and different supermarkets present their sytems in different ways. Sometimes per portion, half portion, pack, 100g. Who really has time in the supermarket shop to try and work out each individual items nutritional value? I know i don't with my two kids! Standardising it will make everyone’s life easier and clearer, especially for people lacking in time and those who struggle with English too. I believe it'll also be a great incentive to get kids more involved with healthy choices, seeing if they can pick out the 'green' items etc"

Sweets at checkouts…

Insight snippets

  • Most mums would prefer not to see sweets at checkouts – too tempting for adults and children.
  • Most parents see that it’s their responsibility to say no but it can be hard, especially if your child gets upset (and no one wants to deal with that in the supermarket!) – this is just one reason mums are turning to online shopping.

"I hate sweets at checkouts, I'm happy for my children to have a balanced diet including sweets but having them at the checkout makes them too prominent and tempting for children and puts you in a position where it is hard to say no!"

"It doesn't bother me if there are sweets next to the checkout. I just say no to my daughter, sometimes she has a paddy about it but I would rather she did that than end up overweight and with rotten teeth."

If you'd like to pose a question to the 6,000 mums on our MumPanel then drop us a line for more information. 

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