Dr. Oetker Stories

One Pudding, two Nutri-Scores?

Some may have already noticed it, others will see it soon: one Dr. Oetker Product two different Nutri-Scores. A green “B”, right next to it a yellow “C”. How is that possible? Find the explanation in this article.

One Pudding, two Nutri-Scores?

4.4.2024 Sustainability

Since the end of 2023, Nutri-Score has been available in Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain on all Dr. Oetker products where its use is mandatory. The well-known five-level colour and letter scale is intended to provide an overview of the nutritional value assessment of a product and thus make it easier to compare similar foods within a product group. But why might it be the case now that we hold two packs of the same pudding powder in our hands – and they carry different Nutri-Scores?

Nutriscore on back of packaging

Algorithms and thresholds - How the Nutri-Score works

To be able to explain this problem, we first need to understand how Nutri-Score works.

The evaluation is based on a fixed scheme in which nutritionally beneficial nutrients and ingredients – such as protein, fibre, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and certain oils – are balanced with less desirable nutrients – such as sodium, saturated fat, sugar and energy. Based on this evaluation, the total value of the Nutri-Score is finally determined. This value is calculated on a scale from-15 to +40. The higher the value, the better the nutritional quality of the food should be – and the closer the score is to A.

But why does the same product now appear on shelf with different Nutri-Scores? In this case, this is not because the recipes of our products have changed. Rather, it is due to a fundamental change in the calculation of the Nutri-Score, developed by the Santé Publique, a sub-organization of the French Ministry of Health.

Since 31 December 2023, a new algorithm has been applied to newly placed foods on the market, and there is a two-year transition period until the end of 2025 for products already on the market. Some algorithm adjustments are, for example: More negative points can now be scored for the sugar content and the threshold at which the first negative point for the amount of sugar is awarded has also been lowered. More negative points can also be achieved for the salt content (conversion from sodium to salt will no longer be necessary in future).

In addition, both the minimum amount of fibre and the protein content have been increased. This means that more negative points can now be achieved for the more unfavourable nutrients, with a maximum of 55 points instead of the previous maximum of 40, and a maximum of 17 positive points can now be achieved for the more positive nutrients (previously a maximum of 15 points).

Updated algorithm costs Jelly for cooking woodruff flavour the B

Specifically, our Dr. Oetker jelly for cooking woodruff flavour now receives an additional negative point for the sugar content, so that the final score is now a C (3 points) instead of a B (2 points).

The Gala Fine Chocolate Pudding scored one negative point more for the sugar content and one positive point less for the protein content. In total, the prepared product achieved 2 points (=B) with the original algorithm and now achieves a final score of 4 points (=C), which will be found on packaging from 2025.

To avoid the unnecessary destruction of packaging that has already been printed, it will be used up by the end of 2025 using the original algorithm. However, the packaging with the updated algorithm will also go on sale now.

Maximum transparency for consumers - two different Nutri-Scores

Even though we naturally want to offer our consumers the greatest possible transparency, the conversion of our packaging will still take some time. We have been gradually introducing the new Nutri-Scores on our packaging since 2024. However, to ensure that we do not unnecessarily destroy packaging that has already been printed, it will be used up with the original algorithm by the end of 2025. As a result, the affected products will be available to buy in supermarkets with different scores until the end of 2025 - the old scores will gradually disappear.

"Transparency towards consumers is very important to us. However, we would like to see a single, consistent, binding EU-wide solution that consumers and businesses can adapt to and rely on." Ilona Kroll, Senior Manager Food Law

For the time being, there may still be astonishment in front of supermarket shelves when the same product with a yellow C is next to the Dr. Oetker Gala Pudding chocolate with a green B.