20% Sugar Reduction is “Impossible”, Says UK Food and Drink Trade Body

b914951b-95fd-4fba-aba0-9a3c880493c8articleimage.jpeg

23 Mar 2017 --- An executive of the UK’s Food and Drink Federation has warned how the government’s 20% sugar reduction drive - a program to seriously reduce the amount of sugar across British food and beverages - is not “technically” possible and, on top of that, will not be accepted by consumers. 

The Sugar Reduction Program by Public Health England is part of the government’s push to cut obesity rates and associated health problems. Food giants, including the likes of Nestle, Mars, Pepsico and Kellogg’s, have previously been told to decrease sugar content by 20% in products aimed at children. These include food like breakfast cereals, cakes, biscuits, yogurts, ice cream, puddings, and chocolate and sweet confectionery. 

“There is no question that obesity levels in the UK are unacceptably high. Physical inactivity is a factor, but for many the problem overwhelmingly is with excess calories in the diet. With many of these calories coming from sugars, we have been supporting the Government as it develops its highly ambitious sugar reduction drive,” says Tim Rycroft, Corporate Affairs Director at the Food and Drink Federation.

“We know our products have a special place in people's lives and that we must keep our customers at the heart of this work.”

“We have said consistently that a 20% sugar reduction by 2020 across all foods covered won't be technically possible or acceptable to UK consumers. Instead, we believe the success of this work will hinge on the level of sustained engagement coming from the entire food industry. That's why the involvement of all players – manufacturers, retailers and out of home operators – is so crucial to securing public support for the level of change we're being asked to make.”

He adds how “responsible companies” will work Public Health England to lower sugars in recipes and, where that isn't technically possible or acceptable to consumers, to lower portion sizes and encourage switching to lower-sugars alternatives.

“We all have a role to play in giving this process the best chance of success. We believe that Government working in collaboration with trade bodies, companies, research bodies and others can help enable solutions to help companies to deliver under the program.
 
“This could include increased funding for research or additional open access technical guidance for small to medium sized companies, building on the material which FDF launched last summer. We were pleased to see the revision of the R&D tax credits system, something we had asked government for and we support, announced in this year's Budget.”

However, the Obesity Health Alliance in the UK has hit back at Rycroft’s claims that meeting the 20% reduction target is not possible - and if industry cannot meet the target, then government should step in to ensure a change. 

In a statement, it says how children of all ages are eating far too much sugar, the key driver for the dangerously high levels of overweight and obesity in children in the UK. 

“Reducing the sugar hidden in everyday foods will help us all have a healthier diet. And it is widely supported by the public.”

“The Government has set a very achievable goal to the food and drink industry of reducing sugar from the foods frequently eaten by children by 20% in five years. With one in three children overweight or obese we can’t afford to lower our sights.”

“By rising to this opportunity industry could help make a real difference in improving the health of our children and families. The Government has been clear that if sufficient progress is not made by industry than other levers will be used and we will hold them to that.”

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Stevia leaf marketing intensifies amid North and Latin American NPD boom

21 Sep 2018 --- Stevia application continues to grow in food and beverages when assessing CAGR between 2013 and 2017. According to new Innova Market Insights data presented in a webinar yesterday, the rise in applications in North America at 17 percent, Australasia on 21 percent and especially Latin America on 37 percent has been spectacular. As consumer awareness around the sweetener grows, new product data points to a rise in marketing in American markets where “sweetened with stevia” is mentioned more frequently on the front of packaged goods.

Food Ingredients News

Peeling back the label: UK study explores the “real” ingredients in popular processed foods

19 Sep 2018 --- A study examining the lack of meat in some processed foods and what UK consumers think is classified as “ultra-processed products” reveals a widespread lack of understanding. Less than half of those surveyed feel confident in pointing out which foods fall into the “processed” and “ultra-processed” categories. The study also revealed that many didn’t know the difference between processed foods like frozen vegetables or dried fruit which are not considered unhealthy and ultra-processed foods which contain additives and ingredients (often salt, fat and sugar) to enhance their flavor, texture, or longevity.

Food Ingredients News

Barry Callebaut enters long-term supply agreement with Burton’s Biscuit Company

19 Sep 2018 --- The Barry Callebaut Group has signed an agreement with Burton’s Biscuit Company, the UK’s second biggest biscuit manufacturer, for the long-term supply of over 12,000 metric tons of chocolate and compound per year. The transaction is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval by the competent authorities.

Food Ingredients News

Bakery creativity: Zeelandia launches new branding strategy around “inventiveness”

19 Sep 2018 --- Dutch headquartered bakery ingredient company Zeelandia is presenting its new range of concepts, along with a new brand positioning around “inventiveness,” at this years’ International Bakery Fair (IBA) in Munich, Germany. During the tradeshow, which ends tomorrow (September 20) the company is presenting a number of solutions for bread and pastry applications to help create bakery success for both artisan and industrial bakers.

Food Ingredients News

Clean label and free from claims trend in Mexico as R&D efforts intensify

18 Sep 2018 --- Clean label, free from and GMO-free claims continue to trend in Mexico, as the food sector enjoys strong growth, spurring strong research and development in this dynamic sector. The new product data comes as the food industry from Mexico and beyond prepares for the FoodTech Summit & Expo, which will take place next week.

More Articles