Swedish and European labelling legislation forms the foundation for the analysis. Certain information; such as a list of ingredients and preparation instructions; is obligatory on the labels; while other information is prohibited. Examples of prohibited information include pictures or text; which may idealise the use of the product; on infant formula labels.
The methodological approach in the article is partly discourse analytical; because the labels are related to a number of contexts; and partly semiotic; because of the multimodal character of the labels.
It is revealed that there are differences concerning the choice of words and pictures on the labels in the three different product categories. The Swedish gruel and porridge labels tend; with a few exceptions; to be more sales oriented than the infant formula labels; including; for example; a more frequent use of emotive and evaluative words; and a larger number of pictures of smiling parents and babies.