The announcement followed Public Health England setting a 20% calorie reduction target in food consumed across 13 ‘everyday’ products by 2024.
Last March, Nestlé pledged to reduce sugar across its confectionery portfolio by 10% by the end of 2018 and the company said it had already hit a reduction of 7.4% as of today (Wednesday 7 March).
Nestlé UK and Ireland CEO Stefano Agostini said reformulating Nestlé’s products to reduce sugar and calories also required a level of attention was paid to making sure that taste wasn’t compromised.
‘Not just removing sugar’
“It is not as simple as just removing sugar from a product; the skill is in making that product taste just as good or, ideally, better. We have an unrivalled research and development network across the globe that makes this possible,” said Agostini.
“People love our food and drink. What we can do, through research and development, is improve them in both taste and nutrition over time.”
Nestlé breakfast cereals was also working hard to reduce average sugar by 10% across its portfolio by the end of this year, said the company.
Nestlé Waters also announced that Sanpellegrino sparkling fruit-based beverages would see a 40% reduction in sugar in the coming months. The change was facilitated by incorporating natural sweetener stevia to replace a proportion of the drink’s original added sugar.
Agostini added: “I can tell you that the reduced-sugar fruit-based drinks announced today taste every bit as good as the ones they are replacing and that is thanks to the hard work of our experts.”
Last year, Nestlé reformulated a number of its most popular brands, which included adding extra milk and cocoa to KitKat, making milk the top ingredient in Milkybar and introducing 30%-less-sugar versions of Rowntree’s Randoms and Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles.
The company said it was also taking steps to introduce portion guidance information on all packs of its confectionery.
Meanwhile, last month, Nestlé’s weak sales at the end of the year meant growth was below expectations for the company in its full-year results for 2017, according to Nestlé global CEO Mark Schneider.