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Inside food & drink manufacturing

Obesity Debate

As the controversy about Britain's obesity epidemic continues to grow, we report the latest news, views and analysis on how food and drink manufacturers are responding to the challenge of reducing sugar and fats in the national diet.

Kids’ sugar advertising ban is ‘choking the industry’

An extension on the ban of advertising high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food and drink products to children was an added burden to the “already onerous regulatory restrictions that are choking the industry”, a legal expert in the field has said.

Food industry ‘ready for calorie-reduction challenge’

The food and drink industry will rise to the challenge of helping to reduce children’s calorie intake, says the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), as the government launches the next stage of its childhood obesity plan.

Health department’s obesity focus moves to calories

The government is set to move away from sugar and towards a total calorie approach in the battle to combat childhood obesity, one of its key strategists in the area has revealed.

Manufacturers search for sugar alternatives

Food and drink firms have called on ingredients manufacturers and researchers to help identify potential sugar alternatives, in a bid to aid companies in reformulating their products and improve public health.

Most manufacturers ‘go beyond labelling obligation’

Most food manufacturers go beyond their legal obligation to provide clear nutrition labelling, says the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), after claims manufacturers were “deliberately deceiving” shoppers by not using colour-coded labels on cereal packaging.

Coca-Cola crowdsourcing seeks sugar alternatives

The Coca-Cola Company has launched two crowdsourcing schemes to find innovative ways to sweeten food and beverages.

UK nutrition research faces ‘potential’ crisis

Nutrition research in the UK is facing a “potential crisis” and needs to have more food industry involvement if it is going to offer real benefit to people’s health, a new review has claimed.

More to sugar replacement than sweetness: research body

Food manufacturers should consider the full sensory impact of replacing sugar as they strive to meet Public Health England’s reduction guidelines, a research body has claimed.

Stevia sweetener doubles up as an edible meringue

A stevia sweetener in the form of a meringue kiss that be eaten or dissolved in hot drinks in 30 seconds has arrived in the UK.

Half of Britons admit to snack serving size confusion

More than half of UK consumers admit to not knowing what constitutes a single serving of snacks such as crisps, revealed a new survey commissioned by gluten-free snack manufacturer Wellaby’s.

Nestlé plans cereal sugar cuts by 10%

Nestlé plans to cut sugar in its breakfast cereals by a further 10% by the end of 2018, as it continues to reformulate across its product portfolio.

Brexit and obesity on agenda at industry convention

Shadow secretary for international trade Barry Gardiner will lead a top line-up of speakers at the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF’s) 2017 Convention, which takes place at the British Museum in London on July 11.

‘More work needed’ after kids’ sugary food ad ban

The ban on adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) was only the first step in reducing childhood obesity, claimed pressure group Sustain, while doctors have called for health warnings on sugary food packaging.

Firms encouraged to ‘invest in healthier products’

Risk-averse food manufacturers need encouragement to invest in healthier products, a nutrition consultant and industry insider told a seminar dedicated to processed food at the US Institute of Food Technology (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo.

Sat fat replacement research ramps up

Reducing saturated fat intake has been high on the policy agenda for decades, but the challenge has been to find substitutes that provide the same functionality in food production.

New plant sterols boost heart health food claims

A highly concentrated, water-dispersible source of plant sterols, designed to support cardiovascular health, was unveiled at nutrition show Vitafoods Europe last month.

Gluten-free foods are typically higher in fat: study

Gluten-free products pose an obesity risk to consumers because they typically contain “significantly higher” fat levels than their gluten-containing equivalents, a study has found.

FSS backs extending sugar tax beyond soft drinks

Advice to extend the sugar tax beyond soft drinks, order the reformulation of products to cut sugar, fat and salt, and lower portion sizes, has won the support of Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

Free school meals ‘help in fight against obesity’

Obesity levels in children continued to be a “disaster”, but the opportunity to improve their nutritional needs through free school meals remained huge, a public health professor has argued.

Food promotion controls to protect kids ‘are flawed’

Pressure is mounting for the next UK government to introduce much tougher controls on the promotion and advertising of foods high in fat, sugar and salt to children.

Lucozade Ribena Suntory cuts sugar to avoid tax charge

Lucozade Ribena Suntory has committed itself to reformulating all of its UK soft drink brands this year to ensure they will not be hit by the sugar tax that comes into force in April next year.

Bespoke sweetener now available in powder form

A powdered variant of a sweetener claimed to offer no aftertaste is now available from Omega Ingredients.

Milk Manifesto: nutritionists fight dairy ‘myths’

Dairy foods’ nutrition and health benefits must be recognised and celebrated, according to The Dairy Council, as it launches its Milk Manifesto, backed by nutritionists and academics.

Sugar tax needs to offer more incentive, claims IFS

The tax on soft drinks, which comes into force in April 2018, needs to be changed to give manufacturers more incentive to reduce the sugar in their products, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has argued.

Industry calls for health and nutrition improvements

FoodDrinkEurope, the European food and drink manufacturers association, has launched a call for action to help improve consumers’ diets and promote good health and nutrition at the European Business Summit yesterday (May 23).

EU food health claims helped by innovation strategy

EU health claim regulations for food are “complex but navigable”, and companies with long-term strategies around innovation in health have an advantage, a study has found.

Bakery spotlight: why the feelgood factor still matters

Mounting pressure from health groups hasn’t deterred consumer desire for ‘feelgood’ foods.

EU to provide daily sugar intake advice by 2020

The EU is to provide scientific advice on the daily intake of added sugar in food by 2020.

Labour ‘to ban sugary food TV adverts before 9pm’

TV adverts for foods high in salt, fat and sugar, plus sweets, will be banned before 9pm, if Labour wins June’s general election.

Food nutrition in schools gets teacher training boost

Food nutrition in schools has been boosted by the launch of an online training course aimed at improving the knowledge of primary schoolteachers on the subject.

Tesco wants traffic light labels to include exercise

Food and drink traffic light nutrition labels should be reviewed to make them more understandable by consumers in the battle against obesity, according to Tesco’s strategic adviser Tim Smith.

Tax on sugary drinks may be extended after review

The sugar tax on soft drinks, which was passed by parliament on Tuesday [April 25] and will come into force next April, could be extended to a raft of other food and drink products, following news that its effectiveness on reducing obesity – particularly in children – will be reviewed after two years.

Pernod Ricard adds nutrition info link on labels

Drinks giant Pernod Ricard is to provide a link to nutrition information on the labels of all of its leading brands, following a move by the European Commission (EC) to allow alcohol firms to propose their own labelling guidelines.

Vitafoods Europe: grounds for optimism

With the UK voting to leave the EU and Donald Trump winning the US presidency, it’s fair to say we’ve had a year of political shocks.

Artificial sweetener claim rejected by pro-industry body

A claim that artificial sweeteners have a negative effect on the gut biome have been rejected by a pro-industry body.

Family Food survey reveals fruit and veg decline

The 75th annual government survey of UK food purchasing, now called the Family Food survey, was published in March.

Sugar and sodium cuts lead global reformulation

More than 180,000 consumer goods were reformulated in 2016, with sugar and sodium the most targeted for removal by the food and drink industry, a global report has found.

Dairy foods can ‘break the obesity cycle’

Consuming milk, yogurt or cheese does not contribute to obesity, and the dairy sector is “too often targeted in public health campaigns tackling obesity”, The Dairy Council has claimed.

Manufacturers set target to cut sugar 20% by 2020

Public Health England (PHE) has targeted a 20% reduction in sugar in some everyday foods to reduce childhood obesity and the food and drink industry is “willing to take on the challenge”.

Childhood obesity: ‘cut unhealthy food promotions’

Childhood obesity could be remedied by halting some food promotions – including cut-price, multi-buy offers on unhealthy foods – claims Parliament’s Health Committee.

Nutrition advice questioned by gut microbe scientist

Conventional advice on maintaining health and avoiding obesity have been called into question by a leading expert on bacterial gut health – also known as the microbiome – who claimed that ensuring healthy bacteria in the lower intestines and colon has far more effect.

Schools get healthy food guidance

Local authorities (LAs) are being urged to improve the health credentials of food provided to schoolchildren and help reduce the obesity epidemic across the EU, in new guidance form the European Commission (EC).

Starch sugar-replacer has no taste impact

A new starch can reduce sugar content in savoury foods by up to 30% without impacting on quality, texture or taste, its maker has claimed.

Natural sugar reduction range extended

Food and drink manufacturers are now able to source a comprehensive range of sugar reduction additives from a single ingredients firm, after its leading range was extended to include new variants.

Sugar tax is a ‘blunt instrument’ against obesity

The sugar tax is a “blunt instrument” to tackle childhood obesity that “victimises” a sector already lowering sugar and calories in its products, according to law firm DWF.

Cereal makers looking for sugar reduction plans

Cereal manufacturers are trying to cut sugar, claims the Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers (ACFM), after pressure groups claimed some breakfast cereals contained “shocking levels of sugar”.

More regulation may be needed after the sugar tax

More sugar regulation might be necessary after the introduction of the sugar levy in April 2018, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has claimed, after research showed that more than one-in-five children started school overweight or obese.

Obesity in mice linked to gut bacteria, study reveals

A study of mice has given further credence to the potential link between gut bacteria and obesity.

Sugar-free drink study slammed by scientists

A study that suggests sugar-free and diet drinks play no role in helping people lose weight is unhelpful and ignores the evidence base, scientists and industry lobby groups claim.

The sugar tax: what do millennials really think?

What do youngsters really think about the impact of the soft drinks levy, due to be introduced in 2018? After research published in The Lancet last week backed claims that the levy alone could not remedy Britain’s obesity epidemic, we look back at video interviews exploring how young people think the levy will impact their buying habits.

Tax relief is available to aid research into sugar reduction

Companies that plan to reformulate their products in the run up to the sugar tax and voluntary reduction targets are likely to be eligible for tax relief on research and development (R&D) costs, a specialist in the field has advised.

Child obesity rates continue to rise

Childhood obesity levels are continuing to increase in the UK, with rates for children living in the most deprived areas more than double those living in affluent boroughs, a national survey has found.

FDF president elect Gavin Darby sets out priorities

The Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF’s) new president elect, Premier Foods’s ceo Gavin Darby, has named his top twin priorities as helping to remedy the nation’s obesity epidemic and ensuring the sector has a “strong plan” to thrive after Brexit.

Children’s ‘junk food’ ad ban hailed by FDF

The decision to ban ‘junk food’ advertising across all children’s media, in a bid to tackle childhood obesity, has been welcomed by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

‘Complex’ sugar tax draft slammed

Draft legislation for the Soft Drink Industry Levy has been described as “complex” and raises “serious questions” if a sugar tax would work, said law firm DWF.

Childhood obesity plan to target leisure centre food

Leisure centres are to be encouraged to offer healthier food and drink choices in a new initiative set out in the government’s childhood obesity plan.

Nestlé in ‘groundbreaking’ 40% sugar cut research

Nestlé claims to have found a way to reduce the sugar content of its chocolate by 40%, without affecting taste.

FDF holds anti-soft drinks levy stance despite member apathy

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has maintained that a soft drinks sugar tax wouldn’t improve public health, after some of its members claimed they have “no position” on the levy.

Energy and endurance: the ketone kings

A low-carbohydrate diet is usually associated with people trying to lose weight, but another group of carb-cutting enthusiasts is emerging.

How mindful eating can boost positive dietary choices

The concept of mindful eating as a means of driving healthy dietary choices is attracting attention.

Sweet results for Britvic focusing on low sugar drinks

Soft drinks firm Britvic reported a 10.1% rise in annual sales revenue to £1.43bn, boosted by growth in its no and low sugar drinks, as the manufacturer strived to reduce sugar content before the sugar tax is introduced in April 2018.

Cereal firms defend sugar and salt content levels

Leading cereal manufacturers are striving to slash sugar and salt content, according to the Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers (ACFM), after it was revealed that more than half of Kellogg’s and Nestlé’s UK breakfast cereals were high in sugar.

British Nutrition Foundation targets myths in media

The widespread misunderstanding among huge swathes of the public about nutrition science has led the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) to embark on a programme of work to make this complex subject better understood and dispel many of the myths that are widely held to be true.

Food Matters Live – in tweets

New product development, obesity and the future of nutrition dominated discussions at this year’s Food Matters Live event at the ExCel, London. 

Consider longer-term sugar contracts: report

Food and drink producers should consider longer-term sugar purchasing contracts, or switch to sweeteners, before the EU sugar quota ends in October 2017, a report has claimed.

Waitrose reduces sugar in own-label cereals

Waitrose has lowered the sugar content of its own-label breakfast cereals, with some products seeing a reduction of up to 30%.

Cargill invests £30.1M to boost sweeteners capacity

Cargill plans to invest £30.1M (€35M) to boost sweeteners capacity across its European operations.

NHS sugar tax not ‘justified’: BSDA boss

National Health Service (NHS) plans to introduce a sugar soft drinks ban or tax in its hospitals could not be “justified”, according to British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) boss.

Tesco reduces sugar in own-label drinks

Tesco is to reduce the sugar content in all of its own-label soft drinks in a bid to offer healthier choices to its customers, it claimed.

Youngsters cut down on meat for healthier lifestyles

A third (33%) of young people keen to lead a healthier lifestyle have tried to eat less meat, the ‘Healthy Lifestyles UK 2016’ report from Mintel has revealed.

Action on Sugar highlights ‘huge’ sugar differences between products

Action on Sugar has urged food manufacturers to get behind Public Health England’s voluntary reformulation programme to tackle obesity and save the NHS from bankruptcy.

Diet and nutrition survey results are a mixed bag

The latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) results reveal a few improvements.

‘Ultra-processed’ concept slammed by top academic

A growing association between the concept of “ultra-processed” foods and nutrition-related health problems has been criticised by a leading professor in the field.

Sweetener industry body returns bias accusation

An international sweeteners body has slammed a study that claimed industry-supported research into low-calorie sweetened beverages and weight outcomes was more likely to show favourable results.

Scottish £250k funding aimed at improving food culture

The Scottish government is spending £250,000 to improve Scotland’s diet, after further evidence emerged that most Scots do not follow healthy eating recommendations.

National diet and nutrition survey divides experts

The latest government survey on the dietary habits of the UK population has brought a mixture of encouragement and concern from nutrition experts.

Cancer charity calls for obesity action as 1.6M start school overweight

Tighter controls on ‘junk food’ advertising was one of the measures demanded by Cancer Research UK on World Obesity Day (October 11), after revealing 1.66M children have started secondary school overweight or obese in the past 10 years.

Premier Foods stands out at Food and Drink Federation awards

Premier Foods was the star of the show at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) awards last week (September 22), when it walked away with several prizes recognising its achievements in science, healthy reformulation and a campaign to help older people in the community.

Weight management: it’s in the blood

There is renewed interest in blood sugar management as an approach to combat obesity.

Obesity reduction will be challenging, scientists warn

Food experts and lobby groups have criticised the government’s long-awaited childhood obesity strategy for focusing too heavily on sugar at the detriment of overall calorie intake.

‘Mary Poppins Act’ needed to reduce sugar intake

The UK will probably strengthen rules governing the front-of-pack nutrition labelling of food and drink packs – something it has been restricted from doing as part of the EU – rather than watering them down following the Brexit vote, a food labelling expert has claimed.

Sugar intake in children is double daily allowance

Children between the ages of four and 10 are consuming twice as much sugar as their recommended daily allowance, despite intake from sugar-sweetened soft drinks falling, according to Public Health England (PHE) figures.

Government guidelines propose vitamin D supplements in the diet

People in the UK need to consider dietary supplementation of the essential vitamin D in their diets to compensate for the absence of that produced in the body from exposure to sunlight during the months of October to March, according to new government dietary guidelines from Public Health England (PHE).

Arla Foods launches breakfast campaign as part of £100M investment

Arla Foods UK has launched a major new breakfast campaign as part of its £100M commitment to support healthier eating among consumers.

Childhood obesity plan ‘fatigued’ claim retailers

Retailers have stepped up their objections to the childhood obesity strategy, arguing that the report isn’t comprehensive enough and the government has failed to provide leadership.

Obesity strategy is badly ‘flawed’ claim critics

The government’s much delayed childhood obesity strategy, published today (August 18) by the Department of Health, has received a mixed response from health lobby groups and the food industry alike, with neither side feeling it provides a truly holistic solution to the growing obesity crisis in children.

Health is the focus in Food Standards Scotland’s five-year plan

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) outlined measures to improve the safety of food and tackle the growing obesity problem north of the border, as it focused on health and nutrition in its five-year strategy report.

Coalition formed to block UK sugar tax

Business leaders in the food and drink industry have formed a coalition to oppose the UK soft drinks tax, following a report that claimed the tax would place 4,000 jobs at risk and wipe £132M from the economy.

Doubts over UK’s obesity strategy

The decision to further delay publication of the government’s childhood obesity strategy has been met with dismay by health lobby groups that fear a policy closely associated with the last administration could be kicked into the long grass.

Sweeteners ‘make people eat more’

Mounting evidence that artificial sweeteners can raise appetite levels, and lead to increased calorie intake, has been backed up by a major new study that claims to show for the first time why this response occurs.

Soft drinks sugar tax to cost 4,000 jobs

The soft drinks sugar tax would threaten 4,000 jobs and cost £132M according to an Oxford Economics report.

Under-reported calorie intake is ‘misleading obesity policy’

The British public is under-reporting the amount of calories consumed, which could frustrate policy makers’ bid to combat obesity, according to new research.

FDF hits back at Olympics food criticism

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has hit back at claims it said non-western countries had welcomed less healthy food advertising at the Rio Olympics.

Sugar reformulation guide released by FDF

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has released a free reformulation guide for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), designed to help them reduce the sugar content in their products.

Fewer promotions on less-healthy foods than healthy foods

Supermarkets place more promotions on less-healthy food and drink than on healthier products and should restore the balance, according to a new report from a consumer pressure group.

Double-ball mould depositor extends the range of lollipops possible

The range of confectionery that can be made using the depositing process has increased with the introduction of new mould technology for the Baker Perkins ServoForm depositor.

IP rights can become a ‘weapon’ in sugar war

Food manufacturers are increasingly likely to use intellectual property (IP) rights as both an asset and a weapon in the battle to meet reformulation demands over sugar, a lawyer has claimed.

Government sat-fat advice remains unchanged

The report from the pressure group the National Obesity Forum (NOF), branded as irresponsible by Public Health England and discordant with the international consensus, criticised the government’s Eatwell guide and official UK dietary reference values (DRVs), particularly those for fat and carbohydrates.

Survey reveals nation of ‘unbalanced’ dieters

Almost two-thirds (61%) of Britons admit their diet is not considered healthy or balanced, a new survey has found.

What food and drink manufacturers worry about most

Brexit and the sugar tax topped food and drink manufacturers’ concerns this year, according to the Food Manufacture Group’s exclusive industry-wide survey. We explore the headline results of the survey with the editor of Food Manufacture Rick Pendrous.

Sugar tax unlikely after Brexit: pressure group

The UK sugar levy – due to be introduced in April 2018 – has little chance of implementation after the UK’s decision to leave the EU, according to an obesity pressure group.

Sugar tax should be scrapped: Coca-Cola UK boss

The UK sugar levy should be scrapped, so that more can be done to help businesses cope with the transition to life after Brexit, according to Coca-Cola UK’s boss.

Soft drinks should be ‘drunk in moderation’: Coca-Cola boss

Full-sugar soft drinks variants like Coca-Cola ‘red’ should be drunk in moderation and complemented with exercise, the man responsible for running Europe’s largest soft drinks site has admitted.

Andy Murray’s ice cream smashes sales targets

Fresh from winning his second Wimbledon title, tennis star Andy Murray will also be enjoying the success of Oppo ice cream.

US dietary fats study highlights public health advice

New US scientific research, just published, based on a 30 year study into dietary fats and their effects on health, has reinforced current dietary public health guidelines that had been questioned by some health lobby groups.

Sugar type can affect diabetic glucose levels

The type of sugar used in food can make a significant difference to the blood glucose management of people with type 2 diabetes, according to a German study funded by Beneo.

High fat diet can cause kidney damage

A high fat food diet can cause as much damage to the kidney as diabetes, according to a study published in Experimental Physiology.

Label awareness is the biggest habit change

A high level of shopper awareness over the proposed sugar tax on soft drinks has not yet translated into any comparable change in shopper behaviour – but concern over sugar intake has increased – a new survey has revealed.

Food and drink industry ‘delaying’ UK obesity plans

Food and drink manufacturers have “delayed and eroded” government plans to tackle obesity, claimed the lobby group Action on Sugar (AoS), after the publication of a new report by the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA).

Sugar tax is 'not logical’ says soft drinks boss

British Soft Drinks Association boss Gavin Partington cannot find any logic in the soft drinks tax, reports Noli Dinkovski.

FDF and Action on Sugar row over reformulation

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has refuted claims from Action on Sugar that it had warned members not to engage with charities over product formulation.

Families outstrip celebrities as children’s healthy living role models

Family members are the strongest role models for influencing children’s healthy eating and physical activity habits, according to one of the largest online surveys of school children in the UK carried out from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF).

Nottingham Trent students win Ecotrophelia UK

A student team from Nottingham Trent University has scooped the gold prize for their low-fat, non-dairy ice cream made with algal protein, in the UK leg of Ecotrophelia 2016 – the pan-European competition for ecologically inspired innovative new product development (NPD).

Obesity forum: ‘No plans’ to replace board members

The National Obesity Forum (NOF) has no plans to replace the four members who resigned last week – after a controversial pro-fat report was released by mistake – according to the organisation.

Coca-Cola could face £226M sugar tax

The Coca-Cola Company could face a bill as high as £226M a year under the sugar tax, if it doesn’t pass on the increased charge for its sugary drinks to consumers, according to market research firm Euromonitor.

Philosopher ‘naive’ over Daily Mail processed food comment: FDF

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has accused a philosopher of being “naive” after he stated that modern food processing was a danger to health. 

‘Irresponsible’ dietary guidance under flak

A report from the National Obesity Forum (NOF) in association with Public Health Collaboration has come under flak from Public Health England (PHE), Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) for providing bad nutritional advice.

Sugar tax is destined to fail, claims legal expert

The proposed sugar tax on soft drinks is likely to fail in its intended aim of reducing calorie intake as consumers will simply trade down to cheaper, own-label variants, a leading legal food specialist has claimed.

Scots ‘bottle tax’ fears for UK drinks industry

Drinks companies would suffer “very significant financial implications” if the Scottish government were to implement a ‘bottle tax’ through a nationwide deposit return system on beverage containers, the head of a leading trade body has claimed.

Weight is number-one adult health concern

Adults aged 18 to 50 worry more about their weight than any other health concern – but priorities change as they get older – a European-wide survey from DSM has found.

National Obesity Forum fat report rejected by board members

Health lobby group the National Obesity Forum (NOF) has come under swingeing attacks from some of its own medical advisers in press reports over the past weekend, following controversial advice it rushed out last week advising people to eat more fatty foods, reduce carbohydrate intake and stop counting calories.

Tesco launches vegetarian bbq range

Tesco is capitalising on the growing vegetarian trend by launching, what it claims are, the UK’s first ever cauliflower and mushroom barbecue (bbq) steaks.

PHE brands advice to eat more fat ‘irresponsible’

Advice to eat more fat in a bid to tackle obesity and type 2 diabetes, from the National Obesity Forum (NOF), has been branded as irresponsible by Public Health England (PHE).

Food and drink firms welcome Queen’s Speech – mostly

Government plans to support business, education and the economy – set out in the Queen’s Speech – have been welcomed by food and drink manufacturers. But plans to introduce a sugar tax continued to draw criticism from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Health officials in Liverpool name sugary soft drinks

Public health officials in Liverpool are to be the first to name leading soft drink brands – such as Lucozade, Coca-Cola, Tropicana, Capri-Sun and Ribena – warning how many sugar cubes are in each drink.

Nichols plans relaunch of sugar-free drinks range

Nichols announced a relaunch of its sugar-free brands this summer, following the news of the tax on sugary drinks, and predicted earnings would be in line with expectations.

Coke Zero relaunches to ‘end sugar-free confusion’

Coca-Cola Great Britain (CCGB)is to improve and rebrand Coke Zero as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, in an attempt to change the mix of its portfolio.

Dietary fibre intake suppresses appetite

Big opportunities exist for food manufacturers to tackle obesity through the use of food containing non-digestible inulin fibre to encourage satiety, according to a leading academic.

Coconut oil: superfood or not?

The nutrition science community is becoming increasingly concerned about the health halo around coconut oil and the risk to health if consumption becomes a regular occurrence.

Sugar certification label wins Tesco backing

A certification label to give consumers the ability to take control of their free sugar intake has been launched with the backing of Tesco.

Sugar tax may be ‘followed by further food taxes’

The government’s sugar tax on soft drinks could open the floodgates for further food taxes, warns accountants Old Mill.

Mars: ‘Don't eat some of our products every day’

Mars Foods is to advise consumers to limit the consumption of certain products in a bid to improve the nation’s health..

Personalised nutrition ‘really works’: new research

New EU research shows that diets targeted at an individual’s specific needs –personalised nutrition – can improve health more than general nutrition advice, but the results are not improved by honing that advice based on people's phenotype (physiological characteristics) or genetic (DNA) make-up.

Food activity labels ‘need more research’: FDF

Food activity labels – which specify the exercise needed to burn off the calories contained in the product – needs more research, according to trade body the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Obesity crisis: legislation said to be ‘the only answer’

A leading healthy food campaigner has claimed to be “sympathetic” towards manufacturers of food and drink high in fat, salt or sugar, as they are not operating on a level playing-field when it comes to promotions.

Online ads to kids set to fall under TV rules

The advertising of foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) to children online has moved a step nearer to falling under the same restrictions as TV advertising after it was revealed that a public consultation was being prepared.

Sugar soft drinks tax: a ‘dead cat’ distraction

George Osborne’s announcement of a sugar tax on soft drinks in last month's budget took everyone by complete surprise. Cynics were quick to accuse him of blatantly trying to deflect attention from declining growth forecasts.

AG Barr focuses on lower sugar drinks after tax plan

Scottish soft drinks company AG Barr says it will focus on lower sugar products to adapt to changing consumer tastes and the chancellor’s proposed sugar tax.

Innovation conference highlights potential on offer

New product development will become even more important for food and drink manufacturers, after the Chancellor’s sugar tax budget bombshell, according director of the Aurora Ceres Partnership Steve Osborn, who chaired Food Manufacture's recent innovation conference.

Sugar tax could spark industry legal action

Soft drinks companies are looking into options, including legal action, in the wake of the government plans to introduce a soft drinks tax.

Soft drinks tax: the three unanswered questions

Key questions are emerging about the effectiveness of the proposed soft drinks tax, following the statement by George Osborne in the budget last week.

Budget shock: sugar tax on soft drinks

A surprise tax on sugary soft drinks to tackle childhood obesity, unveiled in Chancellor George Osborne’s budget, has dismayed manufacturers but delighted campaigners, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Food innovation conference: still time to book

There’s still time to book a place at Food Manufacture’s food and drink innovation conference – New Frontiers in Food and Drink 2016 – which takes place tomorrow (March 17) at etc.venues St. Pauls, 200 Aldersgate, London.

Food innovation conference: just three days to go

There are just three days to go until Food Manufacture’s food and drink innovation conference – featuring all forms of innovation from personalised nutrition to edible insects and tackling obesity through satiety – gets under way in London on Thursday March 17.

Nutrition projects to be revealed at Vitafoods

Results from four EU-funded nutrition projects, covering weight management, heart disease and healthy ageing, are to be revealed at this year’s Vitafoods Europe show.

Sugar reformulation blighted by restrictions

Restrictions on the use of high intensity sweeteners continue to frustrate food manufacturers trying to reformulate products by reducing added sugar.

Childhood obesity strategy delayed until the summer

The government’s widely-anticipated childhood obesity strategy has been delayed until the summer.

Sugary drink obesity claims slammed by industry

The soft drink industry has slammed claims that a 20% tax on sugary drinks would cut UK obesity rates by 5% within nine years – resulting in 3.7M fewer obese people.

Hunt won’t rule out sugar tax, as Jamie gets ‘more ninja’

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has refused to rule out a sugar tax, as celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has vowed to “get more ninja” in his bid to tackle the UK’s obesity epidemic.

NHS sugar tax proposals are panned

Plans by the National Health Service (NHS) to introduce a sugar tax on food and drink sold in its hospitals has been heavily criticised by industry trade bodies.

Business Leaders: ‘premier event in food calendar’

The Business Leaders’ Forum (BLF) – organised by the Food Manufacture Group – has grown to become “probably the premier event in the food calendar”,  according to host sponsor DWF.

Manufacturers ‘not at table’ in obesity debate

Food and drink manufacturers need to stop being defensive and instead take a seat at the table to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis, according to a leading obesity expert.

Four food and drink industry surprises of 2015

A shift in power from retailers to their suppliers, leading to a better year than expected, was one of four key surprises that shaped the UK food and drink industry last year, Paul Wilkson, chair of the Food Manufacture Group Business Leaders’ Forum told delegates recently.

Sugar ‘obsession’ could skew obesity strategy

Britain’s “complete obsession” with sugar could skew the government’s childhood obesity strategy due next month, warns a leading obesity expert, who was dismissive of a sugar tax.

Jamie Oliver ‘deserves food manufacturers’ thanks’

Food and drink manufacturers should thank celebrity chef and anti-sugar campaigner Jamie Oliver for focusing attention on their contribution to healthy eating, according to Geoff Eaton, chairman of New England Seafood International.

‘Obesity time bomb’: FSS proposes sugar tax

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has proposed a sugar tax, tougher reformulation targets and regulation of promotions in order to defuse an obesity “time bomb”.

NHS to impose hospital sugar tax

The National Health Service (NHS) plans to introduce a sugar tax in its hospitals in an attempt to help combat the UK’s obesity crisis.

Food manufacturers should adopt ‘activity equivalent’ calorie labels

Food and drink manufacturers should adopt ‘activity equivalent’ calorie labelling on their products which show how much activity is needed to burn off the calories in them, according to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).

Sugar reformulation: can the industry learn from salt?

Alongside the now-familiar call for a 20% tax on sugary soft drinks, the recent House of Commons Health Select Committee report on child obesity proposed other measures, including centrally-led reformulation in high-sugar food and drink.

Sugar tax is not the biggest obesity cure

Reformulation, together with restrictions on the marketing and promotion of food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar are more important than sugar taxes, according to Public Health England (PHE), which in October called on the government to introduce taxes as one of a raft of measures to curb the UK's obesity epidemic.

Sugary drinks study slammed by food industry

A new study that claims reducing the sugar content of sugar-sweetened drinks could prevent 1.5M cases of obesity and overweightness has been dismissed  as “fanciful” and “contrary to the evidence” by the food industry.

Just one-in-six people claim to be unhealthy, study finds

Many UK consumers deny they are part of the nation’s obesity epidemic – a problem recently dubbed as serious a threat as terrorism – new data released by Mintel has revealed.

Battle of the bulge is set to notch up a gear

As we start the new year, the food and drink industry awaits with much anticipation what the government is going to call on it to deliver as part of its childhood obesity strategy.

Food producers 'cheating' over non-sugar pledges

A number of industry players are “cheating” consumers by making ‘no sugar’ claims, despite using carbohydrates that are even more glycaemic than sugar, according to a Beneo representative.

Childhood obesity strategy anticipated

A paper in the Lancet in September revealed that while we are living longer, poor diet now exceeds smoking as a risk factor for chronic diseases in England. So, the policy focus on nutrition is unlikely to go away any time soon.

Chair of MPs’ group on obesity calls for government regulation

Food industry self-regulation has failed and government intervention could create a “level playing-field” among manufacturers, a Conservative MP and obesity campaigner has claimed.

Tesco to slash sugar content in more children’s food

Tesco is to roll out sugar reduction targets to its own-label suppliers in new categories of food and drink in the New Year, following the success it has achieved in healthier reformulation of children’s soft drinks, its group quality director Tim Smith has revealed.

Scotland must act on ‘deep-rooted’ poor diet: report

Scotland’s poor diet is not improving and urgent action must be taken to stop obesity from being the norm, according to a report from the country’s food body.

Health responsibility deal is ‘parked’

The Public Health Responsibility Deal (PHRD) has been “parked” by the government, according to Food and Drink Federation director general Ian Wright, who has urged government to revitalise its efforts to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis.

2 Sisters, Morrisons and apprentices make week’s headlines

2 Sisters Food Group’s decision to snap up S&A Foods’s former site in Derby and reports of Morrisons’ potential exit from the FTSE 100 leads our selection of the top headlines in food and drink manufacturing.

Obese people’s adipose cells fail to regulate fat

Obese people are far less efficient at regulating the fat levels in their body, which puts them at higher risk of contracting cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes, according to a leading expert on the human metabolism of fat.

Euro consumers more interested in low sugar products

European consumers’ appetite for sugary foods is waning in favour of low-sugar products, according to new Mintel research revealed at the Food Ingredients Europe show in Paris.

Sugar tax report slammed as health lobby ‘PR stunt’

A sugar tax and childhood obesity report by Members of Parliament (MPs) has been slammed by the industry as a public relations (PR) stunt for the health lobby.     

Most consumers say ‘No thanks’ to drinks sugar tax

More than two-thirds of British adults believe a tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks would: penalise most people who consume soft drinks responsibly, rise each year and lead to taxes on other foods, according to an independent poll commissioned by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Gov should adopt our six-point obesity plan: AoS

Action on Sugar has launched a six-step “evidence-based” action plan to prevent the UK’s obesity and type 2 diabetes crisis from spiralling out of control.

Calbee UK plans investment and jobs following Tesco contract

Japanese savoury snack manufacturer Calbee UK will make a “significant investment” in its Deeside factory in Wales and boost staff numbers to 100, after winning a contract to supply 650 Tesco stores, the firm has revealed.

FDF’s top three ambitions for 2016

Tackling the UK’s obesity epidemic, resolving the debate surrounding Britain’s membership of the EU and boosting productivity will be the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF’s) top three ambitions for 2016, FoodManufacture.co.uk can exclusively reveal.

Three changes food industry must make to boost health

Food and drink manufacturers must make three changes across their businesses to help boost the health of consumers, according to consumer group Which?

Food firms should prevent obesity not manage it

Food and drink manufacturers should forget about managing people that are currently obese and instead focus on preventing more people becoming overweight, according to a leading expert.

IGD targets consumer understanding of nutritional labelling

Grocery think tank IGD is planning a range of new activities designed to help consumers improve their understanding of a nutritionally balanced diet and encourage healthier eating as it takes a more prominent role in trying to curb the UK’s obesity epidemic.

Four reasons a sugar tax ‘won’t work’: FDF boss

The near impossibility of imposing a sugar tax was one of four reasons why a tax would not limit sugar consumption or obesity, according to Food and Drink Federation (FDF) director general Ian Wright.

Food and drink focus for child obesity strategy

Product reformulation, an advertising ban and restrictions on promotions are expected to be the main focus of the government’s childhood obesity strategy.

Heart failure link slammed by soft drinks boss

The soft drinks sector has hit out at national media claims that a new study proves a clear link between sweetened drinks and an increased likelihood of heart failure in men.

Soft drinks boss hits back in sugar tax debate

The soft drinks sector has defended itself against attacks from health campaigners as the sugar tax debate intensifies.

Soft drinks firms claim sugar tax won’t work

The country’s largest soft drinks companies have dismissed the idea of a sugar tax and pointed to strides made by the sector in calorie reduction.

Sugar tax row: ‘Jamie can dish it out, but can’t take it’

Food and Drink Federation boss Ian Wright has hit back at Jamie Oliver, comparing his tactics to those of EastEnders hardman Phil Mitchell, as the sugar row turns sour.

Sugar tax could aid obesity fight: Health agency

A sugar tax could cut sugary drink purchases and help fight obesity, according to Public Health England (PHE), amid controversy over the government shelving the health agency’s report into the issue.

Report calling for sugar tax released after outcry

A controversial report calling for a sugar tax to fight childhood obesity has been released following outcry an over a government decision to delay its publication.

Changing colours to reduce need for sugar

A psychologist and a chef are using a multi-sensory approach to address health issues such as reducing sugar and salt content in food.

Glavonoid ruling allows weight loss use

More products tackling visceral fat are likely to be developed, following a European Commission (EC) ruling on the use of the liquorice root extract Glavonoid.

IGD launches healthy eating programme

Grocery think tank the IGD has launched a new healthy eating programme to begin next year, designed to improve the nation’s diet.

Sugar in the firing line for childhood obesity strategy

Campaigners are calling for a sugar reduction programme modelled on the successful salt reduction work of the past few years, as part of the strategy to combat childhood obesity which the government is currently working on.

Soft drink manufacturers urged to slash sugar levels

Soft drink manufacturers worldwide have again been urged to set sugar reduction targets, while the advertising regulator plans to consult on new rules for non-broadcast adverts targeted at children.

Manufacturers welcome government sugar tax ruling

Food and drink manufacturers have praised the government for ruling out Jamie Oliver’s proposed sugar tax, claiming the idea was “misplaced”. 

Urgent action need on food portion sizes: charity

The government should update its advice on food portion sizes urgently, warns a leading charity, after researchers advised smaller food packages could help to cut Britain’s obesity crisis. 

Smaller food and drink packages can 'beat obesity'

Smaller food and drink packages sold in supermarkets and smaller portions served at home and in restaurants could help beat Britain’s obesity crisis, claims news research from the University of Cambridge.

FDF boss urges food industry unity ahead of attacks

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) boss Ian Wright has appealed for food industry unity, ahead of what he predicted will be “lies” told about the sector.

Jamie wins 100k signatures to force sugar tax debate

The government will be forced to consider debating whether to tax sugary drinks after a petition calling for the move by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver gained more than 100,000 signatures.

Jamie slammed by food manufacturers over obesity

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been slammed by food and drink manufacturers for “over-simplifying” the obesity debate and of having double standards surrounding nutritional information in his restaurants.

From free sugar to sugar-free

Is a renewed focus on sugar reduction an inevitable consequence of the SACN recommendations? Lynda Searby digests the report and its implications for the food industry.

‘Guilt lane’ abolition is prime target for food firms

Manufacturers should prime themselves to take advantage of the supermarkets’ abolition of ‘guilt lanes’ by making healthy alternatives to chocolates and sweets to stock at checkouts, like the online snack manufacturer Graze has done, its boss has said.

High salt intake ‘may boost obesity risk’

High salt intakes may boost the risk of obesity in both adults and children, claims new research.

What prospect for food should Corbyn win?

Jeremy Corbyn, who is leading the other candidates in the polls to become the next leader of the Labour Party, divides opinion. Those on the right see him as an unreconstructed leftie who would make Labour unelectable. His fans – including many young people – see him as a man of principle whose views haven't been swayed in pursuit of popularity

Jamie Oliver’s tax on soft drinks ‘useless’

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s call to put sugary soft drinks “on the naughty step” with a 20% tax has been slammed by industry as ’pointless’.

Tea sales fall as Brits lose taste for cuppa

Britons’ love affair with drinking tea could be a thing of the past as a new study finds that tea sales have fallen by 6% since 2010.

Never mind free sugar, what about the fibre?

Judging from the press coverage it received, it would be easy to get the impression that the recommendations to halve the total daily energy intake derived from free sugars in people's diets from 10% to 5% a day was the only thing of any significance in the 'Carbohydrates and Health' report published last month by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).

Consumers’ Twitter protest after Tesco ‘bans’ Ribena

Consumers have launched a storm of protest on Twitter after Tesco appeared to ban Ribena and Capri-Sun soft drinks from its shelves.

Confectionery sales to rise despite sugar health fears

Confectionery sales in the UK will grow by 8.6% by 2019, despite more than 60% of Brits raising fears about the high levels of sugar in sweets, according to a new report.

Sugar intake should be halved, says SACN report

The government should halve the recommended daily intake of sugar, an influential committee of nutrition experts has advised in a widely anticipated report.

Twitterati: industry should lower sugar after SACN

Manufacturers must do more to help consumers halve their overall energy intake from free-sugars to less than 5%, commentators on Twitter have urged after the release of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition's report on carbohydrates today.

Industry: SACN report says ‘nothing new’

There’s “nothing new about sugar” in the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition's (SACN’s) report on carbohydrates, but more needs to be done to increase fibre intake, food and drink manufacturing leaders have said.

Foods to assist mental health ‘next big thing’

Nutrition to maximise the brain development of young people will be a big area of focus for food scientists in the future, according to a leading scientist.

20% sugary drinks tax ‘ineffective’, says industry

The food and drink industry has slammed the British Medical Association’s (BMA’s) calls for a tax on sugary drinks to fight the UK’s growing obesity crisis, claiming it would be ineffective.

Poll: Obese should pay more towards NHS

The cost of combating Britain’s obesity crises should not be footed by the taxpayer and consumers who overindulge should instead pay more towards the National Health Service (NHS).

Obese should pay more for NHS care

People who abuse their bodies by eating poorly and not exercising enough should pay more towards the National Health Service (NHS) than those who take better care of themselves, a business strategist has controversially suggested.

Lobbyists: Popcorn’s ‘health’ claims ‘misleading’

Popcorn manufacturers are pumping too much salt into their products, while leading consumers to believe they are a healthy snack, campaigners have claimed.

Food manufacturing boss slams NHS sugar criticism

A leading food and drink industry boss has slammed criticism of the sector’s record on curbing sugar levels voiced by the chief executive of the National Health Service England (NHS).

Sugar tax pushed by Scotland doctors

A call for a tax on sugary food and drinks from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh today will hike the pressure on industry to help tackle the UK’s obesity epidemic by making products healthier.

AoS ‘wrong about fruit-based snacks’ – nutritionists

Action on Sugar’s (AoS’s) latest research into fruit-based snacks masks useful nutritional information, confusing parents and potentially stopping children from having healthier treats, nutritionists have warned.

Soft drinks’ brand values up, despite health concerns

Soft drinks firms have increased the value of their brands globally over the past year, despite consumer health concerns about sugar and artificial sweeteners, new figures suggest.

‘Don’t take our sugar away,’ manufacturers urged

Food manufacturers should not reformulate sugary food and drinks to make them healthier, but consumers should instead be more accountable for what they eat.  

Tesco’s sugar slash provokes retailer pressure

Anti-sugar campaigners have called on the UK’s biggest retailers to follow Tesco’s lead and slash sugar across their own-label soft drinks ranges.

Food prices ‘drive’ obesity epidemic

The price of vegetables has risen by a whopping 199% in the past 30 years in the UK while the cost of an ice cream has fallen by 50%, driving the UK’s obesity epidemic, a new report has claimed.

Food science gets transatlantic partnership boost

Sharing the latest information on food science and technology is the aim of a new transatlantic partnership forged between the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) and the US Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

Liberal Democrat manifesto to ‘finish the job’

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg launched his party’s manifesto on Wednesday (April 15) claiming that it built on a record of policies delivered in national government.

Labour plans draw mixed reaction from business

Business leaders have given a mixed response to Labour’s manifesto published on Monday (April 13), with praise for its commitment to EU membership but criticism of its curb on zero-hours contracts.

Labour’s manifesto: food industry implications

Labour pledged to expand the role of the supermarket watchdog to protect food producers, create better paid jobs and apprenticeships across the rural economy, while creating a “world-leading food, farm and fisheries sector” in its manifesto released yesterday (April 13).

Healthy children's ready meals go global

A healthy children’s ready meal start-up is set to go global and has joined forces with the popular kid’s book The Gruffalo.

Anti-sugar campaign hits sports drinks and juices

Sales of sports drinks and fruit juices continue to plunge in what looks like a consumer reaction to concerns raised by anti-sugar campaigners.

Too much fat in Danes's diet

The Danish have increased their intake of fish and vegetables and reduced their consumption of sugary soft drinks, but are still eating too much fat, according to findings from the latest Danish national diet survey.

Tougher rules likely to curb UK obesity levels

UK food and drink manufacturers could be hit by more stringent regulation in a bid to curb rising obesity levels and reduce the burden on the National Health Service, experts have said.

Food Standards Scotland launched, as poll reveals concerns

Food Standards Scotland (FSS), the new public sector food body for Scotland, was launched yesterday (April 1), as a new poll identified Scotland’s top food concerns.

Nutritionist: store reply on junk food ‘disappointing’

Pleas to ditch ‘unhealthy’ snacks at tills have met with “disappointing” responses from Marks & Spencer (M&S) and WHSmith, according to the nutritionist driving the campaign.

Food firms making ‘good start’ to boosting healthier diets

The food and drink industry has made a “good start” in helping consumers adopt healthier lifestyles, according to the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF).

Nichols set for boost through focus on value sales

Nichols will keep outperforming, aided by continued focus on value rather than volume growth, according to a leading analyst.

Food firms ‘sow seeds of doubt’ in WHO

World Health Organisation (WHO) sugar guidance is “disappointing” and suggests food firms have persuaded it to take a softer line on consumption, claims pressure group Action on Sugar (AoS).

Food firms should step up sugar cuts, say shoppers

Food firms should work harder to cut and communicate sugar content in their products, according to seven in 10 consumers responding to a survey by market analyst Mintel.

Breakfast is key for diabetics

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for people with type 2 diabetes, an international study has claimed.

Trade body shuns attack on energy drinks

The British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) has rejected calls to ban the sale of energy drinks to children under 16, claiming they are not promoted to this age group.

Innovation to shape food industry’s future

Innovation is likely to shape the future of the future industry in a market dominated by lack of growth, price pressure from food retailers and changing consumer behaviour, according to a new report from Rabobank.

North/south divide over purchases of sweets

Londoners buy fewer sweets than consumers in the north east of England, new data from a shopping and price comparison website has claimed.

Gluten-free sector would be hit hard by sugar and fat taxes

Gluten-free (GF) food manufacturers would be hit hard by taxes on high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) content, as calls to make food and drink healthier would leave the sector struggling to reformulate, bosses have warned.

Food industry slams BMJ sugar row ‘madness’

Food manufacturers and scientists have hit back at “the madness” of British Medical Journal (BMJ), in publishing a survey which claimed the government’s scientific advisers on obesity were swayed by industry funding.

Wearable devices to track personal nutrition by 2020

Technology that helps consumers tailor what they eat to their specific health requirements – so-called ‘personalised nutrition’ – will take off over the next five years, the head of intelligence and economics at the Future Foundation think tank has predicted.

Consumers plan to buy less salty products

Sales of salty snacks could be hit as health-conscious consumers plan to remove them from their shopping baskets in the year ahead, according to information and insights company Nielsen.

Online ‘advergames’ link to child obesity studied

The debate about childhood obesity will intensify tomorrow (February 5) when a comprehensive review of digital and online food and drink marketing to children is published.

Food Vision focuses on responsible innovation

Responsible innovation is the theme of the Food Vision 2015 event, connecting leaders in nutrition and food and drink development, to take place in Cannes, south of France between March 18–20.

Guilt free: stevia sales to rise by 18% annually

Sales of the natural sweetener stevia are set to rocket beyond their £4M market value in the UK, as sweet-toothed consumers search for indulgent products with fewer calories, analysts have predicted.

Sector not absolved by childhood obesity slowdown

A slowdown in childhood obesity growth rates does not absolve the food and drink industry from blame, despite its efforts to reduce the fat, sugar and salt (FSS) content of its products, experts have said.

Business Leaders’ Forum – in quotes

Obesity, skills and the changing retailer landscape were some of the key issues debated at last week’s Business Leaders’ Forum at the Walkie Talkie building in central London.

Alara Wholefoods aims to create 17 new jobs

Alara Wholefoods aims to create 17 jobs over the course of this year off the back of strong demand for its organic and gluten-free muesli and other food lines.

Prepare for election threats and opportunities

Food and drink manufacturers should prepare for the threats and opportunities arising from the General Election in May, according to law firm DWF.

Stricter ad regulation could have ‘nasty side effects’

Calls for stricter advertising regulation for ‘junk’ food from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) could have “nasty side effects”, according to the advertiser trade body ISBA.

Business leaders tackle fat tax at industry forum

Debate about taxing ‘unhealthy’ foods provoked division at Food Manufacture’s Business Leaders’ Forum and was a top hot topic singled out by Geoff Eaton, chairman of New England Seafood International.

Drinks industry slams sugar policy

The British Soft Drinks Association’s (BSDA’s) director general Gavin Partington has slammed the British Dietetic Association’s (BDA’s) new policy on sugary drinks for children.

Labour to limit fat, salt and sugar in kids’ food marketing

Limits will be set on fat, sugar and salt levels in the food marketed to children, if Labour wins the next general election on May 7.

Pressure on food firms to get healthier to grow

Pressure on food manufacturers to come up with healthier recipes has never been stronger, says Paul Gander

100 years for UK to reach global sugar target

It may take 100 years to cut UK consumers’ sugar intake to levels recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), according to market analyst Datamonitor.

My wish-list for 2016

Top of my list is that balance will be restored to discussions about healthy eating and, ever the optimist, I am pinning my hopes on the relaunch of the government's Eatwell plate healthy eating guide, scheduled for the new year.

Haggis to tackle US obesity crisis

Haggis would help tackle America’s obesity crisis, but its import ban into the US must first be lifted, Members of Parliament were told in a House of Commons debate yesterday (January 15).

Risks of unrealistic fat, salt, sugar limits

Setting unrealistic fat, salt and sugar limits for foods could spoil their quality, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has warned, responding to Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham’s policy proposals.

Promote health benefits or risk political sidelining

The food industry must promote about its health benefits or risk being sidelined in the lead-up to the General Election in May, according to the chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference.

Premier Foods joins New Year resolutions list

Premier Foods boss Gavin Darby has pledged to forge closer partnerships with suppliers and customers in a list of New Year resolutions submitted to this website by key industry figures.

Food policy to be key to next Labour government

Labour has pledged to put food policy at the heart of a new “industry strategy”, while introducing a more joined-up approach to food safety and health challenges, if it is successful after the general election on May 7.

Promotions failure signals Responsibility Deal change

The food industry’s failure to make progress on curbing the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS), will set in train a major overhaul of the voluntary Public Health Responsibility Deal (PHRD).

Consumer care is a new priority for food science

The food industry must engage more with consumers if it is to reassure them about what it does and get their buy-in for new advances in science and technology, according to a new survey published by research group Campden BRI on January 6.

Political posturing set to rise as fad diets fail

News that the voluntary Public Health Responsibility Deal (PHRD) had failed to reach agreement among brand owners on the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS), has seen renewed calls for tougher regulation of the food and drink industry.

The Food Manufacture Group’s year in pictures

It’s been another busy year for the Food Manufacture Group. We travelled the country to bring you the latest news and views online and in print and event formats about the hottest topics facing UK food and drink manufacturers in 2014.

Food firms seek a high-fat feel

Making low-fat versions of high-fat food and drink is something scientists will strive to do better, despite criticism, says Nicholas Robinson

Boozy calorie counting

The Royal Society of Public Health’s call for calorie labelling of alcoholic drinks is a timely reminder that drinks contribute to energy intake.

Consumers are ready to rumble false food claims

Food and drink businesses that loosely use the term ‘natural’ on their products to make them appear healthy could soon be rumbled by untrusting consumers, experts have warned.

AoS takes another pop at industry

Action on Sugar (AoS) has slammed the manufacturers of “seemingly healthy” children’s fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies, which can often contain more sugar than regular Coca-Cola.

Sugary drinks tax slammed by nutritionist

Renewed calls to attack health problems by taxing sugary drinks have been slammed by a leading nutritionist, who claims cutting portion sizes and sugar content and tackling irresponsible retail promotions would be better.

Firms in Scotland trim salt, fat and calories

Scottish firms have slashed salt, fat and calories further in a reformulation drive to make products healthier for consumers.

Food manufacturers could be ‘forced out’ of the obesity debate

Food and drink manufacturers must emphasise the role of exercise in reducing obesity or risk being sidelined in the debate and hit with stricter regulation, according to new research.

Healthy quinoa bars in Bristol NHS Trust vending trial

A healthy quinoa bar concept developed by a team of final year culinary arts management students has picked up the award in the ‘culinary product development challenge’, run by the Automatic Vending Association (AVA) in partnership with the University College Birmingham (UCB).

Sweeter with new stevia

Sweetly Stevia is the first sweetening product to offer consumers a 100% natural alternative to sugar, but tastes as good, claims the company behind the new brand.

Maternal diets dictate health of their children

Women’s diets before and during pregnancy can have a profound effect on the health of their offspring in later life, a leading public health nutritional scientist has revealed.

Vending machines to stock healthier items

Vending machines are about to undergo a revolution in the UK with new hot and cold food offerings set to create a completely new sales channel for manufacturers.

Labour plans tougher food regulation

Labour is about to set out its plans for improving public health if elected next year and while tougher regulation can be expected, sugar and fat taxes will not be part of the mix, it has emerged.

Natural foods win consumer vote for health

Natural products with intrinsic benefits are healthier than food and drink reformulated to be more nutritious, according to consumer research.

Food firms must act on obesity

Food and drink manufacturers cannot “sit back” and watch the obesity crisis worsen, a leading weight loss surgeon has urged, following the release of a report calling for a 10-year strategy to tackle the UK's obesity crisis.

Nutritional policies and guidance labels ‘failing’

Nutritional policies and front-of-pack guidance on food products are failing to improve public health and curb the UK’s obesity epidemic, according to a leading expert.

‘Secret’ snacking contributes to obesity crisis

Weight watchers are ruining their diets by giving in to the multitude of tempting snack foods available to them, which is making them feel guilty and emotional.

Tobacco-style regulation needed on ‘unhealthy’ foods

A tobacco-style regulation should be introduced to reduce children’s exposure to “unhealthy” food products and help to protect and promote healthy diets, according to health campaigners and consumer advocates.

Nutritionists defend government advice on food

Claims that the government’s ‘Eatwell Plate’ promotes excessive sugar intake and contributes to growing health problems in the UK have been rubbished by leading nutritionists.

Kids’ diet scheme PhunkyFoods gets results

Children’s attitudes to health are being improved by kids’ diet scheme PhunkyFoods – funded by Nestlé and 2 Sisters Food Group – according to research revealed today (October 28) by Leeds Beckett University.

Caveman diet followers attack ‘Eatwell Plate’

The government’s ‘Eatwell Plate’ has come under criticism for containing more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar in just one meal, by Paleo Britain.

Food industry must collaborate on moral responsibility

The food industry cannot be seen as truly responsible and sustainable until it stops wasting so much of the food it produces, according to Iglo Group.

Sugar alternatives aren’t always better for health

A backlash against sugar and sugary foods has driven consumers towards ‘natural’ alternatives, but they can be just as bad for health, experts have warned.

Beware food safety impact of reformulation

Small-scale food manufacturers have been warned to beware the food safety consequences of reformulating their products to remove salt, sugar and fat.

Top food safety threat is antimicrobial resistance

Four threats, including antimicrobial resistance, and two opportunities will be some of the biggest influences on UK food safety in the years ahead, delegates heard at the Food Manufacture Group’s safety conference this week.

Food industry must unite to tackle obesity and waste

The food industry must engage with frozen food firm Iglo Group’s latest programme to tackle obesity, food waste and unsustainable production, according the firm’s boss Elio Leoni Sceti.

AB Sugar-backed report takes tough line on obesity

Tougher measures to tackle obesity have been proposed in a report published by 2020health and funded by AB Sugar, including a ban on daytime TV adverts for unhealthy products targeting kids.

Soft drinks firms respond to tooth decay criticism

Soft drinks manufacturers have responded to demands from Public Health England (PHE) to strip sugar out of their products, in a bid to battle childhood tooth decay.

Scotland’s diabetes ‘time bomb’

Scotland’s ageing and increasingly overweight population is facing a “diabetes time bomb”, which must be a focus of the Scottish government.

Reformulation ‘won’t solve obesity’

Reformulation is not the sole solution to obesity, as health-conscious consumers could be increasing their calorie consumption by choosing low-sugar or low-fat products, according to research from AB Sugar.

Scots eat poorer diet compared with UK average

Scottish consumers drink more alcohol, eat fewer fruits and vegetables and drink more sugary drinks than the rest of the UK, according to Scotland’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) results.

Home-cooked not always best

Home-cooked meals may not be the healthiest or cheapest option for consumers, as food businesses continue to respond to health and price concerns by adapting their recipes, according to new research.

Sugar not the sole cause of obesity: AB Sugar

British Sugar owner AB Sugar is fighting back against anti-sugar campaigners with the launch of a campaign informing people about sugar’s role in a healthy balanced diet.

Lower saturated fats in new rapeseed strain

Determined food businesses working to lower fat content could benefit from a new strain of rapeseed that produces oil with lower than usual levels of saturated fat.

Bakeries reduce portion sizes to cut obesity levels

Bakeries are being forced to shrink the size of their sweet products, as weight-conscious consumers demand better quality desserts with less sugar and fewer calories.

Nutritionist: Five-a-day is enough

Less than 10% of 11-18 year olds and 30% of adults currently achieve five-a-day.

Walking has a bigger role in the obesity war

Professor Mike Lean of Glasgow University described as “absolute nonsense” Christopher Snowdon’s report from the Institute of Economic Affairs ‘The Fat Lie’, which claimed that a lack of exercise, rather than overeating, was behind obesity.

Obesity caused mainly by inactivity, not sugar

The rise in obesity in the UK has been primarily caused by a decline in physical activity, not by increased calorie and sugar consumption, according to the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Sugar debate halts baking’s popularity

Demand for baking ingredients and kits is set to crumble as health conscious consumers look to avoid sugar and spend less time in the home, according to a report by Mintel.

Beware the views of Britain’s ‘food Taliban’

Nutrition is not a precise science. Most studies on the effects of human dietary intake have to take account of potentially confounding factors, since it is rarely possible to control what people eat in extended studies as it might with lab rats.

Salt cutting trend drives research

Soy sauce can be used to reduce the salt content of manufactured foods by more than 30%, according to recent research from the Dutch university Wageningen’s UR Food and Biobased Research centre.

Four sugar reduction solutions

Food manufacturers could slash sugar content in products by applying four technologies to use sugar differently, according to Leatherhead Food Research’s head of ingredients and product innovation Dr Wayne Morley.

Coca-Cola Company won’t ditch stevia in the UK

Sugar reduction campaigners have praised the Coca-Cola Company’s (CCC’s) refusal to drop the natural sweetener stevia in its Glaceau Vitaminwater in the UK, as it has done in the US.

Sat fat concern as obesity focus shifts to sugar

Policy makers, consumers and food manufacturers risk losing focus on the need to cut levels of fat in the nation’s diet, following the publication of a scientific report, which called for sugar consumption to be halved to cut rising obesity levels, experts in the field have warned.

Married men fatter than single men

Married men are fatter than their single counterparts, results from a newly commissioned study have shown.

Promoting flexitarianism is misleading - dietician

A leading dietician has rubbished claims backing consumers ditching meat from their diets for health and environmental reasons and becoming flexitarians.

Drug link would increase fruit and veg consumption

Millions of pounds could be made if the benefits of fruit and vegetables were marketed more like pharmaceutical drugs, one of the country’s leading dieticians has claimed in response to a new study.

Drinks giant teams with London mayor for obesity strategy

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has teamed up with drinks firm Coca-Cola Great Britain for a £1M project to encourage Londoners to become more active and tackle obesity.

Drinks manufacturers must reduce sugars: PHE

Drinks manufacturers must work to reduce the amount of sugars in their products to lower the nation’s calorie intake, according to Dr Alison Tedstone, Public Health England’s (PHE) chief nutritionist.

Cheese blasted by fat reduction campaigner

Cheese came under fire from anti-obesity campaigner Professor Graham MacGregor at a recent conference for its high fat content.

Obesity webinar your questions answered – in pics

The Food Manufacture Group assembled an expert team of webinar speakers to help separate the facts from the fictions and the myths from hard scientific realities surrounding Britain’s obesity crisis.

Experts call for sugar tax, but doubt official support

Sugar tax is a good idea, but the government may be unwilling to implement it, according to expert panellists taking part in Food Manufacture’s webinar on obesity.

Obesity quotes chart wide ranging webinar

Nearly 1,300 people registered for the Food Manufacture Group’s free, one-hour, independent webinar on the roots of Britain’s obesity crisis and its remedies. Here, we capture a flavour in quotes of the wide-ranging debate.

Obesity crisis demands more food science research

More research is needed to counter Britain’s burgeoning obesity crisis, according to the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), which helped the Food Manufacture Group stage an independent, free, one-hour video on the subject earlier this month.

Labour: taxing unhealthy foods ‘not fair’

Labour has shunned sugar tax plans in favour of working collaboratively with the food industry to make foods healthier, according to shadow health minister Luciana Berger.

Anti-sugar campaigners flag up satiety message

Unhealthy foods don’t satisfy consumers’ appetites in the same way as other foods, meaning they end up eating more, fuelling the obesity “pandemic”, according to campaigners.

Obesity webinar speakers sum up key messages

Calls to base Britain’s obesity debate on a more scientific footing and the urgent need to reformulate food and drink products were just two of the key messages speakers took from the Food Manufacture Group’s obesity webinar last week.

Over 700 diabetes cases/day is 'health emergency'

A new study revealing that more than 700 Britons a day are diagnosed with obesity-related diabetes constitutes a “national health emergency”, warns the boss of Diabetes UK.

Give food science a chance: obesity webinar experts

Give food science a greater role in the debate about the roots and remedies of Britain’s obesity crisis, urged nutrition experts in their opening remarks at the Food Manufacture Group’s obesity webinar.

Still time to register for free obesity webinar tomorrow

There’s still time to register for the Food Manufacture Group’s free, one-hour, independent webinar on the roots and remedies to Britain’s obesity crisis, taking place tomorrow at 1100 GMT tomorrow (Thursday July 3).

FDF sets out its wishlist for the next government

Food and drink manufacturers have called for a stronger partnership between industry and government, as part of a three-point wishlist for the next government.

Food science and nutrition groups back obesity webinar

Three leading food science, technology and nutrition groups have joined forces to back Food Manufacture’s free, independent, one-hour obesity webinar to be staged on Thursday July 3 at 1100 GMT, in a bid to move the debate about obesity onto a firmer scientific footing.

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