Nutrition and labelling

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) publish The Official Dietary Guidelines and is responsible for the food safety work.

DVFA also emphasizes making healthy choices easy for the population through partnerships, nutrition labels such as the Keyhole Label and the Whole Grain logo as well as targeting group specific recommendations. 

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s Keyhole label can help consumers identify the healthier choices when buying food.

The Keyhole is a food label that identifies healthier food products within a product group. Choosing foods with the keyhole symbol make it easier and less time consuming to find healthier products in food stores. Foods labelled with the Keyhole symbol contain less fat, sugars and salt and more dietary fibre than food products of the same type not carrying the symbol.

The Keyhole is a common Nordic label for healthier food products in Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden based on the Swedish Keyhole which was established in 1989.
The current Keyhole system has a set of criteria for each of the 33 different product groups. In the process of becoming a common Nordic label, the countries revised the different criteria from the original Swedish Keyhole and added new product groups for sandwiches, pizza and wraps and oils. The Swedish National Food Administration has registered the keyhole as a trademark and the Nordic labelling system is enforced through common regulation in the three countries.

Which foods can be labelled with the Keyhole symbol?
Prepacked foods eligible to carry the Keyhole symbol must fulfil certain conditions specified by the authorities in Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. An exception has been made for fish, seafood, fruits, vegetables and potatoes, bread, cheese and unprocessed meat so they can be labelled with the Keyhole even though they are not prepacked. The criteria regarding fat, sugar, salt and dietary fibre are based on the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, which are founded on thorough scientific research.

Different conditions apply to different groups of foods. 
Choosing a food product with the keyhole symbol means that the product it is a healthier choice than corresponding products that are not qualified to carry the symbol. For example, cheese with the keyhole symbol contains less fat and salt than cheese not qualified for the keyhole. Products with the keyhole symbol have to be accompanied with nutritional facts.

Foods with the Keyhole symbol:
The Keyhole is a voluntary label. Food producers are themselves responsible for ensuring that foods with the keyhole symbol conform to The Danish Veterinary and Food Administrations regulations on use of the keyhole. 
Foods that comply with the specified criteria can be labelled with the Keyhole. There are 33 categories within the following 11 product groups:

  • Dressings and sauces
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Ready meals
  • Porridge, bread and pasta
  • Vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts
  • Meat and processed meat products
  • Dietary fat and oils
  • Flour, meal and rice
  • Milk and fermented products
  • Cheese
  • Vegetable products


Design manual for the Keyhole logo

Information about the Keyhole in Danish

The Whole Grain Partnership is a public-private partnership, which consists of 31 partners with the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration as vice-chairman.

The aim of the Whole Grain Partnership is to create target-oriented and effective activities to ensure that Danes consume more whole grain in order to improve public health. The focus is therefore to make whole grain products easily available through a recognizable logo, increase the accessibility of whole grain products and increase awareness of beneficial health effects of whole grain.

The partnership has been very successful and has increased the consumption of whole grain substantially – on average from 36 to 82 g/10 MJ/day in the last 15 years. 

Read more about The Whole Grain Partnership

The Food Partnership for health and climate is a partnership between the DVFA and relevant partners to create healthier foods and beverages. The objective is to make a difference through innovation of healthier food and to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

The partners are big and small and work within all food categories, for example: food companies, retail, foodservice, wholesalers, restaurant chains, health organizations, interest groups etc.

The partnerships are a part of the solution to the challenges related to the increasing number of overweight and obese people in Denmark. Through close dialogue, we seek to inspire and challenge our partners in order to improve and develop healthier food that additionally can open up for national and international market potential.

Read more about the the Food Partnership - for health and climate

The Danish Healthy Food Council works for healthy food in Denmark through collective impact. The Danish Healthy Food Council is a cross-sectoral public-private partnership that mobilizes a national effort for healthy food.The goal is for everyone to eat healthier regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or level of education. The Council consists of 30 members and seeks to gather all relevant stakeholders and initiatives for healthy food and healthier meals across sectors in order to make a united effort that will contribute to realize the vision of everyone eating healthier food.

Read more about The Danish Healthy Food Council