Consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson has said that changes are needed to food and drinks labels to help shoppers identify the best deals.

The Government is to set up a working group next year in a bid to put an end to the inconsistent use of “unit prices” on food and drink.

The working group will include representatives from the UK’s leading supermarkets, large food manufacturers, local council enforcement officers and the BRC. It will look at whether current legislation is acting as a barrier to retailers making further improvements to the clarity of labels.

Retailers are required by law to display both a selling price and unit price, the price by weight or volume, on shelf labels.

The unit price is designed to allow shoppers to compare the true cost of items however products such as washing powder, which can be bought as powder, liquid or tablets, can be confusing.

Swinson commended the progress made by retailers. Tesco and Waitrose are increasing the font size of their labels, while the Co-op is stripping out unnecessary information for consumers such as barcodes, according to The Guardian.

Sainsbury’s has altered 30,000 shelf-edge labels over the past 18 months to try to make things clearer, while Morrisons has changed 2,000 labels.

Swinson said the onus was now on food manufacturers to make labelling more consistent and did not rule out changing the law if necessary.

Consumer group Which? has campaigned for the past two years to achieve more transparency in pricing and has encouraged consumers to sign up to a national pledge calling for clearer, more consistent food unit pricing.