It is now easier for Nordic consumers to eat healthily. Authorities in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have joined forces in using Keyhole as a common nutrition label – Keyhole – which makes it easier to choose healthier foods. Thanks to Keyhole, consumers can easily identify products that are good for their health.
Keyhole has been around in Sweden for 20 years and is well recognised by Swedish consumers. By setting criteria for certain food groups, Keyhole has made it easy to identify foods that contain less fat, salt, and sugar, and more whole grains and fibre. Keyhole is a voluntary scheme for producers of food products, although products featuring the Keyhole label must meet the specific nutrition criteria set for that food group.
The need for a common labelling scheme is the result of considerable similarity in food habits and buying patterns in the Nordic countries. Using the existing Keyhole scheme in Sweden as their foundation, the authorities in the three countries have established new common criteria. Through these efforts, the authorities have continued to build on the results of co-operation within the Nordic Council of Ministers by, for instance, using the.
National differences are taken into account in the new criteria, and the co-operation has subsequently led to improvements in relation to both products groups and criteria. Two new product groups have been proposed, as well as enhanced requirements regarding the amount of whole grain in bread and cereal products, stricter requirements for ready meals, more extensive conditions for fish products, and stricter requirements regarding sugars and salt.
A common Nordic nutrition label is an important follow-up to the joint, as it makes it easier for consumers to make healthy choices based on a clear labelling scheme. When a product is part of Keyhole, the Nordic countries also enjoy advantages in terms of border barriers to trade as the common criteria ensure cross-border consensus on a product, which makes work easier for companies and within the retail sector.
Currently, only Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are part of Keyhole, but the model behind the nutrition label is accepted throughout the Nordic Region. The Finnish authorities do not currently use the Keyhole symbol, but they are considering the possibility of including Keyhole’s criteria in the existing Finnish nutrition labelling scheme, the Heart Symbol. In the long term, Iceland may also become part of this co-operation, which would provide an even broader Nordic foundation.
Source: National Food Agency, Sweden.