Dr. Oetker Stories

“This is a big step for us”

The Nutri-Score enables consumers to compare the nutritional values of foods transparently at a glance. In an interview, Dr. Petra-Alina Unland, Head of International Food Law, reveals by when Dr. Oetker will equip its products with the Nutri-Score and whether this will improve recipes.

“This is a big step for us”

6.6.2022 Sustainability Our Food

Together with your team, you are responsible for the introduction of the Nutri-Score at Dr. Oetker. Are you happy when you spot a Nutri-Score label at the supermarket?

Dr. Petra-Alina Unland: I am actually happy about every Nutri-Score label that I see on the packaging of our products. On the one hand, because we at Dr. Oetker very much wanted this transparency for our consumers. On the other hand, because there is an extensive project behind it, the success of which we now hold in our hands together.

When will the Nutri-Score appear on all products of Dr. Oetker?

Dr. Petra-Alina Unland: The Nutri-Score will appear on the front of the pack of all Dr. Oetker branded products in Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg by the end of 2023 at the latest. In addition, international Dr. Oetker products with Nutri-Score will be imported into other countries that allow this labeling for imported goods. This is a great first step for us towards improved transparency. We would, of course, prefer a Europe-wide acceptance of the Nutri-Score; that way we could provide consumers with the best possible nutrition labeling.

Dr. Oetker Nutri-Score auf Pizza-Verpackung

PR Motive Nutri Score

Why did Dr. Oetker start with the Nutri-Score on the new pizza ranges The Good Baker and La Mia Pinsa? Is it supposed to highlight products with a better Nutri-Score?

Dr. Petra-Alina Unland: Dr. Oetker had planned to use the Nutri-Score labeling model for a long time. For the roll-out, we decided to use the Nutri-Score whenever we introduce or relaunch a product line. The Good Baker and La Mia Pinsa were the first ranges. Our Ristorante pizzas, for example, are currently catching up, market by market, followed by all other pizza assortments, desserts and cakes.

Are products now specially designed so that they can just get the better Nutri-Score?

Dr. Petra-Alina Unland: The Nutri-Score is of course an incentive for us. And at the same time it's a reference value that we use to constantly check whether we can improve a product in terms of its nutritional profile. This also gives us a clearer orientation. Dr. Oetker has been working for a long time now to reduce the content of sugar and salt in products and, where possible, to improve the nutritional profiles. To this end, we also want to offer healthier, innovative alternatives in each range. But the most important thing is always that the taste remains as good as it was before and is expected from Dr. Oetker.

Dr. Oetker also sells category E products - will these soon be discontinued?

Dr. Petra-Alina Unland: Yes, that's right. Some of our cakes will have the Nutri-Score E. But that is no reason to stop offering them. The point of the Nutri-Score is not to avoid certain foods, but to be able to consciously choose the nutritionally better alternative within a product group. A balanced diet includes many different foods - the decisive factor is the quantity in which the respective foods are consumed. In other words: Even foods with a Nutri-Score of D or E can appear on the menu from time to time without having to have a guilty conscience. The portion sizes are decisive, but also the personal lifestyle, for example how much you exercise.

What would you eat - the cake with Nutri-Score D or the pizza with C?

Dr. Petra-Alina Unland: I would eat both. But the Nutri-Score doesn't remove this decision away from you. It provides guidance when choosing products from the same category. For example, when comparing one pizza with another, a cake with a gateaux, or a fruit muesli with a chocolate muesli. Consumers can thus see which product has the more favorable nutritional value and choose the better alternative for them. Of course, only if that's what they want. Nutrition labeling models will always stay a compromise. But the Nutri-Score is one of the best models available, as it balances unfavorable and favorable nutrients and its label is understood easily by consumers.