The Keyhole for Healthier Food – Norway


The Keyhole (Nøkkelhullet) is a voluntary Nordic label for food. Compared to other foods of the same type, products with the Keyhole comply with one or more of these requirements: more whole grain, less saturated fat, less salt and less sugar. The aim of the Keyhole is to help make the right choices when doing grocery shopping and also to stimulate the food industry to develop products containing less fat, healthier fats, less salt and sugar and more fibre, full grain, vegetables and fruits. For more information on which criteria that apply to the various food product groups, read more here: Keyhole Regulations. The Keyhole is found on the packaging of the food products. Breads, meats and cheeses which are not pre-packaged are also labelled. All fresh fish, fruit, berries, vegetables and potatoes are natural Keyhole products, even though they are not labelled. All grocery stores in Norway sell products with the Keyhole. The Keyhole is also found on some food products at venues such as kiosks and petrol stations. For more information on which criteria that apply to the various food product groups, read more here: Keyhole Regulations.

The Keyhole symbol has been used as a common Nordic labelling scheme on food products in Norway, Denmark and Sweden since 2009. Which food product groups that can be labelled with the Keyhole symbol (link) and the criteria the products must meet, are determined by Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Icelandic authorities. In Norway, the Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority are responsible for the labelling scheme. Using the Keyhole symbol is voluntary, and it is the manufacturers’ responsibility to follow the set of criteria set by the authorities. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is responsible for monitoring compliance with the regulations regarding use of the label. Stricter criteria were introduced on 1 March 2015. By 1 September 2016, all products labelled with the Keyhole must meet the new criteria. The Keyhole is a Swedish-registered trademark owned by Livsmedelsverket in Sweden.

A population survey in January 2012 of awareness and knowledge about the keyhole among consumers aged over 18 years, showed continued positive progress: 98% knew or had heard about the logo: 85% knew that the logo represented a healthier choice; many knew that the logo represented less fat, sugar and salt and more dietary fibre; 60% trusted the scheme; and 50% thought that it made it easier to choose healthier foods. The keyhole labelling initiative is being monitored in different social groups by level of education, marketing legislation and targeted materials. This monitoring exercise seems to be promising in terms of the potential health impact of tackling social inequalities in diet.


Additional information:

(last accessed in March 2017)

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Life Cycle Stages: Early Childhood | Older People (>65 yrs) | Pregnancy | School Age | Seniors (>75 yrs) | The Young Old (50-65 yrs) | Work Life | 
Main Settings: public | 
Specific Topics: nutrition | 

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