Bakeries reduce portion sizes to cut obesity levels

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Smaller portion sizes, not reformulation is the solution in bakery
Smaller portion sizes, not reformulation is the solution in bakery

Related tags Sugar Baking

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.

Recent efforts by groups such as Action on Sugar, as well as government initiatives to lower the public’s sugar consumption, have left bakeries that cannot reformulate their products with no option but to reduce their portion sizes, claimed Simon Richardson, commercial director at Haydens Bakery.

In some instances, it does not make sense to reformulate a product to reduce its sugar or calorie content, as the overall taste experience would be lost, said Richardson.

Growth in sales

But, by reducing the size of the product, consumers could have their treat without feeling as guilty, he added. “We haven’t tried to make any health claims, but we have downsized some products and seen growth in their sales,”​ said Richardson.

Haydens Bakery, which is owned by The Real Good Food Company, and supplies pastries and desserts to retailers such as Waitrose and foodservice companies such as Costa, has seen sales of its 50ml tarts almost double in the past 12 months, he added.

“Sales of our 82ml and 100ml tarts have declined and there’s a definite rise in interest for 50ml tarts, as consumers look for smaller treats,”​ said Richardson.

The company, which last month posted a £341,000 rise in pre-tax profits, recently revealed it was at an advanced stage in securing three multi-million pound contracts as part of a business restructuring plan.

Jobs at risk

Haydens Bakery’s business model previously relied on a few major supermarket contracts, said Richardson. However, after jobs at the 2 Sisters Food Group-owned Avana Bakeries site were put at risk following the loss of a major contract, Haydens Bakery restructured operations at its Devizes-based facilities to safeguard jobs as it had operated a similar business model to Avana Bakeries, said Richardson.

Meanwhile, more than £7M has been invested at Haydens’ 5,109m² site over the past three years. Much of this has been spent on new machinery as part of its plans to slim its portfolio down from 10 products to six, said Richardson.

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