In the wake of the Belgian and Dutch markets, canned vegetable and legume producer HAK will be using the Nutri-Score nutrition label for all HAK products sold in German supermarkets. NPM Capital portfolio company HAK is not the first manufacturer to start including the logo on its products in Germany: French food multinational Danone preceded the Giessen, Netherlands-based company.
As in the Netherlands, the German government has yet to make a final decision on a new nutrition label. It is mainly the foreign companies operating in the German market which, like HAK in the Netherlands, are unwilling to wait for the government to make up its mind. In the Netherlands, a new nutrition label is to replace the old ‘green check mark’, which was discontinued in 2017. An interesting detail is that, according to the EU mutual recognition principle, Member States are required to accept food products manufactured in other Member States where Nutri-Score is recognised.
HAK CEO Timo Hoogeboom, in a brief comment on this development: “Apart from the importance of having a clear nutritional labelling system for consumers, this is another reason why alignment within the EU is essential. We believe there really is no reason for the German and Dutch governments to remain on the fence any longer. It’s going to cause chaos across Europe if every Member State feels it has to cast doubt on the solid legwork of other countries and researchers, while at the same time there is an urgent public need for this type of system. The Netherlands and Germany need to give the go-ahead and start introducing Nutri-Score soon because it has proved its effect on consumers’ purchasing behaviour – in terms of directing them towards healthier products, particularly vegetables – in other EU countries.”
HAK has been using the Nutri-Score label in Belgium since last summer and in the Netherlands since September 2019.