Tesco reduces sugar in own-label drinks

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Tesco is to reduce the amount of sugar in all of its own-label soft drinks
Tesco is to reduce the amount of sugar in all of its own-label soft drinks

Related tags Soft drinks Nutrition Tesco

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.

The move comes ahead of the UK Sugar Levy which will come into effect from April 2018.

The newly reformulated drinks will be available in Tesco stores nationwide from Friday November 11, with some products – including Tesco cola – reducing sugar content by half.

Tesco said the move supported recommendations that sugars should not form more than 5% of people’s daily diet.  

Healthier by reducing sugar

Tesco UK and Republic of Ireland ceo Matt Davies said the move was part of the retailer’s plans to make the food it sells healthier by reducing sugar, salt and fat in its own-label products.

“We have worked to make sure our soft drinks still taste great, just with less sugar,”​ said Davies.

“Tesco customers are now consuming on average over 20% less sugar from our soft drinks than in 2011. We’re hoping this initiative will help make it a little easier for our customers to live more healthily.”

Since 2011, Tesco has reduced the amount of sugar in its range of 251 soft drinks to less than 5g per 100ml.

The retailer has also cut the salt, fat and sugar content in more than 4,200 of its own products since 2012. It now plans for reductions in a further 1,000 products each year over the next three years.

Reduction in 1,000 products

The move was welcomed by Diabetes UK ceo Chris Askew, who said it would help customers to lead healthier lives.

“Similar action from other manufacturers and retailers to make products lower in sugar, saturated fat and salt is vital to tackle rising rates of obesity in the UK,” ​said Askew.

“Making the healthy choice the easy choice for all of us will help to tackle the rapidly rising number of people developing type 2 diabetes.”

It is estimated that more than one-in-16 people in the UK has diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed), according to Diabetes UK.

There are 4M people living with diabetes in the UK, with 90% of people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, an online attack on Tesco Bank saw money taken from 20,000 accounts, according to the chief executive Benny Higgins.

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