The Keyhole

Frukt och grönsaker som formar ett nyckelhål

The Swedish National Food Agency's Keyhole symbol is there to help consumers identify the healthier options when buying food.

The Keyhole is a food label that identifies healthier food products within a product group.

Choosing foods with the Keyhole symbol makes it easier and less time consuming to find healthier products in food stores. Foods labelled with the Keyhole contain less sugars and salt, more fibre and wholegrain and healthier or less fat than food products of the same type not carrying the symbol.

The Keyhole system aim to stimulate manufactures to product reformulation and development of healthier products.

A qualitative study concerning the Keyhole's influence over 25 years on product development

Most people in Sweden eat too much sugar and salt, too small amounts of dietary fibre and wholegrain, and the wrong kinds of fat. Foods labelled with the Keyhole symbol have a healthier fat composition, contain less sugars and salt and more dietary fibre and wholegrain than other foods of the same type.

Cereal products must contain a certain amount of wholegrain. For example, bread labelled with the symbol contain more dietary fibre and wholegrain but less fat, salt and sugars than bread not carrying the symbol.

The Keyhole system has a set of criteria for 25 product groups. The Swedish National Food Agency has registered the Keyhole as a trademark and the labelling system is enforced through a regulation.

Why choose foods with the Keyhole symbol?

The lifestyle we choose affects our health. By eating healthier foods and taking more exercise we can reduce our risk of developing obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, certain forms of cancer and osteoporosis. Eating a healthy diet also reduces the risks of dental caries and constipation.

Who can eat foods with the Keyhole symbol?

Foods labelled with the Keyhole symbol are suitable for all healthy individuals - adults, teenagers and children. Products intended for children up to the age of three years must not be labelled with the Keyhole. Foods carrying the Keyhole symbol are not "diet foods" but are intended for everyone who wants to eat a healthy diet.

What foods can be labelled with the Keyhole?

Packed foods eligible to carry the Keyhole symbol must fulfil certain conditions specified by the authorities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Fish and seafood, fruits, vegetables and potatoes can be labelled without packaging. These conditions - regarding how much fat, sugars, salt, dietary fibre and wholegrain may be present in foods with the Keyhole symbol - are based on the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, which are founded on scientific research.

Reviewed 2015-02-24