Labelling of added sugar

Page last updated: 06 June 2018

Supporting public health objectives to reduce chronic disease related to overweight and obesity is one of the priorities for the Food Regulation System.

Work on sugar labelling was originally initiated in response to Recommendation 12 in Labelling Logic: Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy 2011, which was that, where sugars, fats or vegetable oils are added as separate ingredients in food, the terms ‘added sugars’ and ‘added fats’ and/or ‘added vegetable oils’ be used in the ingredient list as the generic term, followed by a bracketed list (e.g. added sugars [fructose, glucose syrup, honey], added fats [palm oil, milk fat] or added vegetable oils [sunflower oil, palm oil]).

At the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) meeting in November 2017, Ministers noted a program of work undertaken to investigate labelling approaches for providing information on sugars. The program of work included evidence-gathering activities by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) on consumer understanding and behaviour, international approaches to sugar labelling, and an update of the sugar policy context by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Noting the desire of Forum Ministers to take a whole-of-diet, holistic approach to food labelling, Forum Ministers considered that information about sugar provided on food labels does not provide adequate contextual information to enable consumers to make informed choices in support of dietary guidelines. Forum Ministers agreed to continue examining regulatory and non-regulatory options to address this issue.

Public consultation with six sugar labelling options will be occurring during the second half of 2018. Feedback from this consultation will be drawn upon to help inform the Forum in reaching a decision regarding any changes to sugar labelling. For updates on the sugar labelling work please refer to the Food Regulation website.