Waitrose reduces sugar in own-label cereals

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Waitrose has cut the sugar content in its own-label cereals
Waitrose has cut the sugar content in its own-label cereals

Related tags Sucrose Wheat Vitamin

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

A total of 27 of Waitrose’s cereals will have their average sugar content cut by 15%, with some products – such as bran flakes – falling by 30%.

More than 90t – or 22.5M teaspoons of sugar – a year will have been taken out of Waitrose’s own-label cereals, according to the retailer.

The lower sugar cereals appeared on Waitrose shelves on Wednesday (November 16) and the retailer plans to cut sugar in the rest of its own-label cereals next year.

Sugar in their diet

Waitrose senior nutritionist Dr Emma Williams said cereals account for 60% of breakfasts, so reformulation will help customers reduce the amount of sugar in their diet. 

“Our customers want a healthy start to the day and reducing sugar is one way for us to help them achieve this,”​ said Williams.

“Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day with many breakfast cereals fortified with valuable nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin D and iron.”

Lowering sugar in its cereals formed part of the retailer’s wider plans to reformulate the sugar content in all of its products. The project had already seen a “significant”​ amount of sugar taken out its chilled juices, yogurts, soups, cordials and fizzy drinks, added Williams.

Taste or quality

Waitrose said that the reformulation would not compromise on the taste or quality of its products and it would not be raising the price.

The move comes less than two weeks since Tesco reformulated all of its own-label soft drinks​ to contain less sugar.

Meanwhile, pressure group Action on Sugar urged food manufacturers to sign up to Public Health England’s voluntary reformulation programme​ introduced in September.

All sectors of the food industry have been challenged to reduce overall sugar intakes by at least 20% by 2020, including a 5% reduction in year one.

Waitrose cereals – at a glance

  • 92.5t of sugar removed from Waitrose own-label cereals since 2015
  • Sugar cut by 30% in Waitrose bran flakes
  • Up to 15% reduction of sugar in rice pops, malted wheats and multigrain hoops
  • Waitrose plans to cut sugar in the rest of its own-label cereals next year

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