Nutri-Score Fruchtzwerge


Image source: BurdaFoodAgency

We aim to improve the quality of life for as many people as we can through our products. That means Danone’s continual development doesn’t just include product reformulations, but also the transparent declaration of our nutritional profiles. We want to provide our consumers with better support to make better informed decisions on a well-balanced diet.

Nutri-Score, the model for nutritional labeling, is particularly well suited to meeting these requirements. Nutri-Score is science-based, easy to understand for consumers at first glance and helps ensure well-informed product selection.

Danone – a Nutri-Score pioneer

In 2018, Danone was the first company to support the introduction of the Nutri-Score labelling system for its fresh dairy products and plant-based alternatives in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


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Nutri-Score is an independent, easy-to-understand and science-based labelling system displayed on the front of products. It rates processed foods based on their nutritional value information and places them into categories from A/green to E/red. This labelling system enables consumers to find out about a product’s nutritional quality at a glance and to compare foods within a category more easily. The Nutri-Score is calculated based on 100 grams and not per portion.


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Nutri-Score was developed by two food scientists, Prof. Mike Rayner and Prof. Serge Hercberg. Rayner developed a system to calculate nutritional value profiles for the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA). This was then named after him: the Rayner score. Based on the Rayner score, Prof. Hercberg and his team in France created a further labelling system for food and drink in 2014.

The system designed by Prof. Hercberg is distinguished by its global approach. The evaluation of the nutritional quality of food and drink includes both nutritional components that should be limited as well as those considered beneficial for healthy people in ordinary life situations. The Nutri-Score evaluates the nutritional elements of a given food in its entirety. 


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The score factors in both desirable and less desirable nutritional elements. Less desirable nutritional elements are given plus points in the Nutri-Score calculation. Desirable ones result in negative points in the calculation. The overall score can be between -15 and +40 points.


This means the Nutri-Score comprehensively reflects a product’s nutritional quality. Desirable and less desirable nutritional elements are combined to produce the Nutri-Score.


1. In the first step, the content of the undesirable and desirable nutritional elements are determined per 100 grams of food or drink. For example, undesirable nutritional elements include: the total sugar content, saturated fat, sodium and calorific value. Desirable food elements include dietary fibre, protein, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Points are awarded for each nutritional element along the valuation scale based on the Rayner score.

2. In the second step, these points are combined for the undesirable and desirable nutritional elements. This produces an overall score for the product. So the lower the score, the higher the quality of the nutritional profile.

3. In the third step, the total score is allocated to five-level categorisation within the Nutri-Score. Each level has a colour and letter. They range from green/A to red/E. 


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The Nutri-Score is different from other nutritional labelling systems. To make comparison easier for consumers, the Nutri-Score is not calculated based on portion sizes, but instead per 100 grams. Unlike the three-tier ‘multiple’ traffic light label, Nutri-Score provides an overall rating for the food or drink and therefore only single colour label with five clearly understandable levels. This model was developed with the support of the French food authority ANSES and France’s Senior Public Health Board.


Germany selected Nutri-Score because a study by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture showed that Nutri-Score best met consumer needs compared with other front-of-pack labels[1].


In several recent comparative studies with other nutritional labelling systems published between 2019 and 2022, Nutri-Score demonstrated its clarity and positive impact on consumer behaviour. Nutri-Score makes the greatest contribution to healthier food choices[2, 3] and leads to a better understanding of food quality[2, 4, 5]. This means Nutri-Score can contribute towards improving nutrition[2, 5, 6, 7].


A review also showed that the classification of the Nutri-Score is consistent with German nutritional recommendations[8].

[1] BMEL (2019): Evaluation von erweiterten Nährwertkennzeichnungs-Modellen. Ergebnisbericht der Repräsentativerhebung. (Evaluation of extended nutritional labelling models. Report on the results of the representative survey). at:


[2] Goiana-da-Silva F, Cruz-E-Silva D, Nobre-da-Costa C, Nunes AM, Fialon M, Egnell M, Galan P, Julia C, Talati Z, Pettigrew S, Darzi A, Araújo F, Hercberg S. Nutri-Score: The Most Efficient Front-of-Pack Nutrition Label to Inform Portuguese Consumers on the Nutritional Quality of Foods and Help Them Identify Healthier Options in Purchasing Situations. Nutrients. 2021 Nov 30;13(12):4335.


[3] Egnell M, Galan P, Farpour-Lambert NJ, Talati Z, Pettigrew S, Hercberg S, Julia C. Compared to other front-of-pack nutrition labels, the Nutri-Score emerged as the most efficient to inform Swiss consumers on the nutritional quality of food products. PLoS One. 2020 Feb 27;15(2):e0228179.


[4] Morgane Fialon, Manon Egnell, Zenobia Talati et al. Effectiveness of Different Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels among Italian Consumers: Results from an Online Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2020 Aug; 12(8): 2307.


[5] Egnell, M., Talati, Z., Galan, P. et al. Objective understanding of the Nutri-score front-of-pack label by European consumers and its effect on food choices: an online experimental study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 17, 146 (2020).


[6] van den Akker K, Bartelet D, Brouwer L, Luijpers S, Nap T, Havermans R. The impact of the nutri-score on food choice: A choice experiment in a Dutch supermarket. Appetite. 2022 Jan 1;168:105664. 


[7] Finkelstein EA, Ang FJL, Doble B, Wong WHM, van Dam RM. A Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Relative Effectiveness of the Multiple Traffic Light and Nutri-Score Front of Package Nutrition Labels. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 17;11(9):2236. 


[8] Szabo de Edelenyi, F., Egnell, M., Galan, P. et al. Ability of the Nutri-Score front-of-pack nutrition label to discriminate the nutritional quality of foods in the German food market and consistency with nutritional recommendations. Arch Public Health 77, 28 (2019).