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NSW Supermarkets Must List Calories on Custom Food Labels

NSW Supermarkets Ordered to List Calories on Custom Food Labels 

All ready-to-eat foods sold in New South Wales (NSW) grocery stores are now required to have the item's calorie content listed on its custom food labels. The Australian government is issuing this mandate with the hope that consumers will become more health-conscious and think twice before indulging in their favorite processed snack foods.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, obesity depletes the economy of $19 billion each year, and The Heart Foundation's NSW director of cardiovascular health, Julie Anne Mitchell, reported that shoppers often underestimate the calories unlabeled packaged foods contain by a significant amount. Because labels are what catches a shopper's eye in a supermarket, the push toward listing calories is expected to compel consumers to make healthier choices when grocery shopping.

Consumers Read the Customized Sticker Labels
A study published by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reveals that more than 70 percent of shoppers stop to read the nutritional column or customized sticker labels affixed to packaging before deciding to purchase the item. 

The research also highlighted the importance of a nutrition sticker label's location. Labels stuck in the center of a product received 30 percent more view time than the same labels placed on the side. More consumers also paid more attention to nutritional information listed at the top of the label.