Mis à jour le 29 juillet 2022

European regulation n° 1169 /2011, also known as the INCO regulation, establishes rules regarding the provision of food information to consumers, allowing the final consumer to get access to basic information such as the nutritional declaration or the list of ingredients. In order to facilitate the understanding of these information, other forms of expression and presentation or voluntary food information may be provided in addition to the mandatory nutrition declaration according to articles 35 to 37 of the INCO regulation. 

Following a request from the French Ministry of Health, Santé publique France created a front of pack nutrition labelling system: the Nutri-Score which can be affixed by producers on their products on a voluntary basis. Nutri-Score was developed to facilitate consumers’ understanding of the nutritional information and thus to help them in making informed choices. 

Nutri-Score has been first implemented in France in 2017, based on work by the team of Pr Serge Hercberg* as well as a expertise from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) and the High Council for Public Health (HCSP). Since then several countries decided to recommend the label: Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. 

You can read all scientific articles about Nutri-Score here.

What is Nutri-Score about? 

  • A front-of-pack label that informs about the nutritional quality of a product, in a simplified and complementary way with the mandatory nutritional statement (as stated in the INCO Regulation)
  • Based on a five-color nutritional scale: from dark green to dark orange
  • Associated with letters , from A to E, to optimize the logo accessibility and understanding by the consumer

How are the points attributed?

The logo is attributed according to the calculation of a single and overall score that takes into account for every 100 gr or 100 mL of food product:

  • the amount of nutrients that should be limited: energy, saturated fatty acid, sugars, salt;
  • the amount of nutrients and foods that should be encouraged (fibers, proteins, fruits, vegetables, pulse, nuts, and rapeseed, walnut and olive oils).

Obtaining the right to use the logo

The usage right for Nutri-Score is granted for free. Companies wishing to use the Nutri-Score must be registered on one of the following procedures:

The registration includes:

  • identification of the requester and its business;
  • the details by brand of categories of products concerned by the use of the logo;
  • the commitment to use the logo for all products that they have on the market under the registered mark(s);
  • the requester’s commitment to adhere to the Usage Regulation.

An electronic receipt of acknowledgment of the registration will be sent to the Industry actor together with the files allowing the use of the logo. No validation from Santé publique France is required. The logo can be used immediately after the email reception.  

Files available

  • Usage Regulation for the Nutri-Score logo (in English / in French) and appendices:
    • Appendix 2 : Graphic Charter (in English / in French)
    • Appendix 4 (available here): documentation to be provided to the French Food Quality Observatory (Oqali) via this link. It only applies to brands distributed in France (exclusively or otherwise). The transmission of this file must be done only via this website, and not by email. 
  • a scientific and technical Q&A (in English / in French)
  • a table  (in English / in French) to calculate the nutritional score of the products (this file should not be sent to Oqali). 

For further information 

Transnational governance 

The relevant authorities of France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland announce the establishment of a transnational coordination mechanism to facilitate the use of the front-of-pack nutrition label Nutri-Score. This cooperation will take place within a Steering committee and a Scientific committee. 

The Steering committee held its first meeting on the 25th of January 2021. The Steering committee will coordinate the implementation and the rollout of the Nutri-Score system. The committee brings together representatives from national authorities in charge of the Nutri-Score implementation in each country. Its very purpose is to ease the use of Nutri-Score by food business operators, to reach out to small businesses and to link with the consumers, by implementing efficient and common procedures.

The Scientific committee had its first meeting on the 12th of February 2021. Its task will be to assess the possible evolutions of the Nutri-Score system for better health of the consumers, including the synergy with dietary guidelines.

To do so, the Scientific committee relies on the analysis of the scientific literature and the requests of the Nutri-Score stakeholders. A first call for contributions was published in 2021.

Focus on the revision of the Nutri-Score algorithm

Calls for contributions to develop the Nutri-Score algorithm

A first call for contributions was launched in summer 2021. Operators and consumer associations were able to submit proposals for potential changes to the Nutri-Score algorithm until 15 September 2021. 

The requests validated by a two-thirds majority of the members of the steering committee of the 7 countries involved was sent to the experts of the scientific committee for examination.

In order to guarantee the transparency of the work carried out, it was agreed that the requests of the French operators transmitted to the scientific committee would be published on the websites of Santé publique France and the Ministry of Solidarities and Health with their agreement.

Annual report of the Scientific committee

The scientific committee of the Nutri-Score includes selected experts in the field of nutrition and public health from COEN, exempt from conflicts of interests with industry with the aim of improving the algorithm underlying the Nutri-Score.

During 2021, the group identified and prioritized areas of potential improvement for the algorithm underlying the Nutri-Score, based on a consensus for evidence-based modifications.

In a report submitted to the steering committee at the end of June 2022, the scientific committee proposed a combination of changes to the algorithm for solid foods. The proposed changes will strengthen the effectiveness of the Nutri-Score in classifying foods in accordance with the dietary guidelines of the various countries, and thus guide consumers towards healthier food choices. In addition, these proposed changes address several stakeholder concerns.

In accordance with the mandate of the steering committee, the 7 countries engaged in the European governance of Nutri-Score have met on the 26th of July 2022 to decide on the modifications of the Nutri-Score algorithm proposed by the scientific committee. In light of the positive impact of these changes on the classification of foods by the Nutri-Score, consistently with dietary guidelines, the steering committee voted in favour of adopting these evolutions of the algorithm for solid foods.

This report will be completed at the end of 2022, by a report on the beverage algorithm.

The implementation of the new algorithm of Nutri-Score in the countries that already have implemented the Nutri-Score logo will be established once all components of the algorithm are fully revised and adopted by the steering committee. From the date of entry into force of the new algorithm, operators will be given a sufficiently long period to implement the label. In order to facilitate this deployment, support for operators will be provided in the various countries involved.

Read more :

* Serge Hercberg, President of the French Nutrition and Health Programme (PNNS) and Head of the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team of the U1153 Inserm/Inra/Cnam/UP13