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The Keyhole Helps Consumers to Make Healthier Food Choices

In a world with growing problems of obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), ensuring healthier dietary habits has been growing in importance. In Denmark, one of the successful initiatives has been the Nordic nutrition label called “The Keyhole”, which was launched in Denmark in 2009. The Keyhole works as an indicator for consumers and stimulates product development and reformulation.

Guiding consumers to make the right choice

The Keyhole has one overall mission: Making it easier for consumers to make the healthier choice. The label has gained rapid success with substantial support from Danish food producers and retailers in the market. The Keyhole is obtainable for food products complying with the criteria laid down for the use of the label. The provisions for The Keyhole lay down criteria for fat, sugar, salt, dietary fibre, wholegrain, fruit and vegetables and energy. The criteria vary depending on the food category.

Today, 94% of Danes know the Keyhole, and by replacing other products with products marked with The Keyhole label, consumers can achieve a significant improvement in nutrient intake.

By choosing food products labelled with the Keyhole, consumers can increase the intake of wholegrain with 36g/day, decrease of saturated fat E% by 25% and the sodium intake by 443 mg/day (12%)

The purpose: Healthier foods

The Technical University of Denmark has calculated the effect on key nutrient parameters of replacing all 4-75 year-old Danes’ normal diet with Keyhole-labelled products on the market in 2017 in areas, where it is possible and realistic.

The results published in 2019 show a significant improvement in nutrient intake: For example, whole grain intake would increase by 36 g/day (62%), saturated fat E% would decrease by 25% and the sodium intake would decrease by 443 mg sodium per day (12%), corresponding to just over 1 g of salt per day. And because the Keyhole incentivises companies to develop products that match the criteria for the use of the label, there are now no less than 4.000 Keyhole products, making the healthier choice ever easier.