Denmark has long led the way with healthy food innovation that guides consumers towards healthier choices. The first national dietary guidelines appeared in the 1970s.
The Danish culture for collaboration is at the heart of this nutrition-related innovation. Partnerships between academic institutes, NGOs, industry and government all play a role in shaping new solutions.
Danish universities are also recognised for their first-class study programmes, which turn out highly competent health and nutrition professionals.
Successive Danish governments have actively demonstrated their commitment to improving consumer access to healthier foods.
The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals are our guide
These are the goals where innovative technology from Denmark can make a particular impact.
AN ENVIRONMENT OF INNOVATIVE RESEARCH
LEADING THE WAY TOWARDS HEALTHIER FOODS
The roots of an international reputation
In a world where 800 million people are undernourished and 2.2 billion people are overweight or obese, the need for better access to healthy foods is striking.
Denmark has a strong advantage when it comes to innovative food research and development – thanks to cross-sectoral cooperation throughout the value chain.
This way of working has earned international recognition. In a benchmark study of ten European countries, Denmark received top scores for all innovation indicators: collaboration, research & development, knowledge, business environment, patents and revenue.
Food Nation’s Stories by Denmark
Everyone has a right to safe and healthy food. But it is still out of reach for a large part of the global population. Hear how Danish food and agricultural companies are improving access to healthier food in the Food Nation podcast.
PARTNERSHIPS DEVELOP HEALTHY FOOD OF THE FUTURE
JOINT EXPERTISE DRIVES PROGRESS TOWARDS A SHARED GOAL
Dietary guidelines for inspired innovation
Denmark was one of the first European countries to publish evidence-based national dietary guidelines in the 1970s.
A decade before that, we partnered with our Nordic neighbours to establish recommendations for balancing dietary habits with physical activity to reduce the prevalence of diet-related diseases.
The Nordic Nutrition Recommendations are still the foundation of the Danish dietary guidelines.
The Danish Whole Grain partnership and the Innovation Partnership for Healthier Food are examples of public-private partnerships that use these guidelines for new product development and consumer outreach.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has an active role in both.
Expand to read more
The Innovation Partnership for Healthier Food was founded in 2019. More than 150 organisations have signed up, ranging from multinational companies to startups.
PRODUCTS THAT CHANGE THE WAY WE EAT
HEALTHIER PRODUCTS CREATE HEALTHIER PEOPLE
Reduction and enrichment – responding to global trends
Denmark is a first mover when it comes to tackling health and food related challenges.
As more consumers realise the importance of good nutrition for their health, Danish food and ingredient companies use their nutritional expertise to develop new opportunities.
Solutions for taking out sugar, salt or fat or enriching foods with protein, fibre and other nutrients continue to grow in popularity.
The Danish food industry is well-positioned to respond to global nutrition trends. New solutions are always under development to meet emerging consumer demands.
The Danish focus on food quality and safety provides a solid platform for continuous nutritional improvement and consumer trust.
FRONTRUNNER IN INNOVATIVE FOOD INGREDIENTS
THE TAILORED RESPONSE TO GLOBAL HEALTH TRENDS
Better ingredients enable healthier food
Innovative ingredients hold a central place in the Danish food sector. Nutritional and functional solutions are in demand to make healthy, safe and appealing foods more easily accessible to consumers.
Working in state-of-the-art laboratories and application centres, our ingredient professionals lead the way with the development of new enzymes, microorganisms, probiotics and ingredients – all in the pursuit of healthier, more sustainable products.
Today, the Danish ingredients industry is an established world leader.
Photo: Thorbjørn Hansen
THE THINKING BEHIND HEALTHY FOOD
FOOD LABELS RELY ON CONSUMER TRUST
A helping hand to healthier choices
It takes good communication to encourage lasting change in consumers’ food habits. Experience has shown that an easily understandable nutrition label can nudge consumers in a healthier direction.
In Denmark, strict labelling requirements give consumers a helping hand when navigating the jungle of available products.
One example is the Keyhole label, which indicates when products live up to specific nutritional criteria. Another is the ‘6-a-day´ guideline for daily consumption of fruit and vegetables.
All such labels are clearly visible in the stores where consumers do their shopping – easy guidance for making a healthy choice.
of Danes know the Nordic ‘Keyhole’ nutrition label
The average increase in daily whole grain intake when consumers buy Keyhole-labelled products
The average reduction in saturated fat intake when consumers buy Keyhole-labelled products
FUTURE PERSPECTIVES OF A HEALTHIER, ACCESSIBLE FOOD SUPPLY
TRANSFORMING CHALLENGES TO MARKET OPPORTUNITIES
Improving universal access to healthier foods
There is still much to be done to improve access to healthy food and encourage consumers to reduce their risk of lifestyle disease by making the best possible dietary choices.
This is why Danish businesses, health NGOs, academia and authorities remain committed to developing new guidelines and launching new partnerships.
New initiatives are constantly underway in support of ongoing research, innovation and consumer engagement.
Related White Papers
Quality & Safety
A safe, high-quality food supply is the backbone of the Danish food industry
Population growth, climate change and food security have pushed food quality and safety to the top of the global agenda. Denmark is a leading player in driving standards for safe, high-quality food.
The ingredient sector is a one-stop shop for solving the challenges of the global feed and food industry
Danish ingredient companies enable feed and food producers to make better use of resources, improve access to nutrition and support the health and wellbeing of livestock and consumers.
Around the world, Denmark is a recognised leader for organic food production and knowhow
Organic food products in Denmark have a bigger share of the retail market than anywhere else in the world. Strong collaboration across the public and private sector is the foundation for growth.