Birmingham researchers hope receipt traffic light system will help shoppers stay healthy

Experts in Birmingham say a new traffic light system on till receipts to show how healthy a supermarket shop is could change the way people buy food.

The new traffic light till receipt concept

The new traffic light till receipt concept

The system shows the total data for calories, sugar, fat and salt in a person’s shopping basket and highlights the total in a green, amber or red colour to help people make healthier choices.

Traffic light scales are sometimes used on individual products, but academics say the new concept would help give shoppers a bigger picture.

Lead researcher, Matthew Cole, Senior Lecturer in sport and exercise nutrition at Birmingham City University, said: “Current evidence suggests that whilst consumers generally find the traffic light nutrition labelling useful, there are limitations, particularly when considering a person’s overall nutritional intake.

“A new receipt-based system could bridge this gap, and provide an additional tool to help aid consumers in their food purchases, providing an overall summary of their entire food purchases.”

Mr Cole worked alongside London-based creative designer Hayden Peek to come up with the till receipt concept – and initial research showed that more than half of those surveyed said it would help them make decisions on what to buy.

The research team also hope that the new concept could also be incorporated into supermarket self-scanning devices which could track the nutritional value of a shop as consumers go.

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