The move would see about 225M fewer teaspoons of sugar in the nation’s diet, claimed Nestlé. The manufacturer planned to achieve the changes through a combination of reformulation and greater promotion of its lower sugar variants.
Nestlé’s UK breakfast cereals’ average sugar content had already been reduced by 15% across the entire range since 2010, according to the company.
UK regional vice president of Cereal Partners Worldwide – maker of Nestlé’s breakfast cereals – Gharry Eccles said cutting sugar in breakfast cereals could make a big contribution in reducing the nation’s overall sugar consumption.
‘Drive forward improvements’
“Offering consumers healthier and tastier cereals is one of our top priorities and we are determined to make breakfast even better for everyone,” said Eccles. “We’ll take every opportunity to drive forward improvements across our range.
“For example, by the end of this year, our cereals will be free from artificial flavours and colours across our entire product portfolio. Making these improvements is crucial to us offering better choices for our consumers while retaining the same great taste.”
Nestlé breakfast cereals sold in the UK last year also contained an additional 3,600t of whole grain compared with 2003 levels, in an effort to improve the nutrition profile of its products.
Public Health England (PHE) said the reformulations were a good sign of Nestlé’s commitment to reduce sugar.
‘Meet the government’s 20% target by 2020’
PHE chief nutritionist Alison Tedstone said: “While there is a long way to go to drive sugar consumption down to recommended levels, we believe this announcement will encourage other companies to make significant reductions and produce healthier products to meet the government’s 20% target by 2020.”
In March, the government challenged the food industry to reduce sugar content by 5% by August 2017, and 20% by 2020. If targets were met, about 200,000t of sugar would be removed from the UK market every year by 2020, said PHE.
This year has already seen Nestlé lower the sugar content in two of its most popular chocolate bars, Kit Kat and Milkybar, by increasing the amount of milk in the recipes.
Meanwhile, in March, Nestlé UK and Ireland announced plans to cut 10% of sugar from across its range of confectionery products by 2018, including Kit Kat, Aero and Milkybar.
Nestlé breakfast cereal reformulation – at a glance
- 15% reduction in average sugar achieved between 2010 – 2015
- Plans for 10% reduction in average sugar between 2015 – 2018
- Nestlé Breakfast Cereals sold in the UK in 2016 contained 383M fewer teaspoons of sugar, 42M fewer teaspoons of salt and an additional 3,600t of whole grain compared with levels in 2003
- Follows plans to cut 10% of sugar from across its confectionery range by 2018