Foodcounts Home Page Logo

Check Foodcounts homepage for Intellectual Property statement 1999-2018


This page is part of the Health Select Committee Submission 2004

Health-select-committee | calorie-comparisons | hi-lo's

Traffic-light food labelling

Traffic-Lights & Simplified Portions 

The Heinz Beans example shown below demonstrates how nutritional values can also be displayed in a consumer-friendly format, relying on graded values rather than absolute values.   

The total food energy value, expressed as "calories", is the primary visual indicator, using a traffic-light scale to indicate the three relative bands of low, medium [mid] and high.  

The coloured calorie traffic-light is underpinned by white traffic-lights to display the three main  macronutrients of fats, proteins, carbs, on the same high-low basis. The % weight [gram] values are converted to % energy [calorie] values using the accepted conversion formula.

The main health-micronutrients are displayed separately for emphasis. 

All scales are calculated against descending value-sorts drawn from all known measured foods. 

In addition, a 10-point scale measures the actual banded values against known  portion sizes to show a "simplified portion value". This provides a more precise indicator than the traffic-light. It also provides an option for daily counting applying a similar principle to the "unit" counting systems of some diet groups

Scale values and average portions are derived from the UK nutrient databank cross-referenced to  the the US nutrient databank. 

Traffic lights and simplified portion values [10-point scale]:


Idea by Mike Allott Corporata Ltd.

The image and values are for demonstration.  

No association with H J Heinz Co Ltd is claimed or implied.

 Source data shown below

Heinz Baked Beans current label info [Fats and Carbs simplified]

typical Values per 100g per serving
Energy (kcal) 75.0 


Protein (g) 4.7  9.7 
Carbohydrate (g) 13.6  28.2 
Fat (g) 0.2  0.4 
Fibre (g) 3.7  7.7 
Sodium(g) 0.5  1.0 

"simplified portion values" equate to RDA's, converted to calories,

 of 15 fats + 5 proteins + 20 carbs = 40 cals

2004 Mike Allott Corporata Ltd