Nutrition Label Alternatives: Traffic Light Labeling Simply Works

Posted on October 24, 2013 by

Even though we help our customers create FDA approved nutrition labels, I'm actually a big proponent of alternative labels. I got really excited when the Redesign the Food Label Project came out.

Once you're familiar with the current FDA label it's easy to understand, but that takes time and it's still far from the best way to convey nutritional information.

It's Complicated!

Text is complicated. A lot of text and numbers is even more complicated. Having all that data on the side or back of packaging requires extra steps just to look at the nutrition data. So, there's certainly room for improvement.


The Redesign Project took it one step, but most of the options submitted still had A LOT of information, and I think the most important step is to simplify the label.

A Clever Solution

The cafeteria at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston did just that, coding food items with a simple "traffic-light" system that labels foods green, yellow, or red. How brilliant is that! Easy to interpret, easy to label, and I'd imagine highly effective in guiding customers to healthier options.

The hardest part is determining which foods to label which color, but the benefits seem well worth it.

Check out the original article from Medical Xpress.

About Lev Berlin

Lev Berlin ReciPal SlantShack Author Bio

Lev Berlin is the founder & CEO of ReciPal. Having previously been a founder of SlantShack Jerky, he needed nutrition labels and simple tools to start and run the business. He's read the FDA food labeling code countless times in the process of creating ReciPal and helping small food businesses with their labels. He's reviewed and created thousands of food labels, and been a mentor and guest speaker at food incubators, food business courses, and regulatory conferences, like Brooklyn Foodworks and ICE.

After graduating from Princeton with an engineering degree, Lev was a management consultant, then founder or early employee at half a dozen startups. He loves nothing more than helping other small businesses get off the ground and achieve their goals.

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