Dairy industry makes sugar reduction progress

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

The dairy industry is working to tough targets on sugar reduction
The dairy industry is working to tough targets on sugar reduction
The dairy industry has reported progress in reducing the amount of sugar in its products to meet Government targets.

Discussed at the Dairy UK ‘Weighing up the Facts? Does Dairy Deliver’​ conference in London, held on Wednesday (30 January), analysis of the results from the dairy industry on its efforts to reduce the sugar content of its products, in line with the targets laid down in the Childhood Obesity Plan showed that significant progress has been made in some categories.  

In the yoghurt and fromage frais category, the industry achieved a 6% reduction in sugar content, surpassing the target of 5% laid down by Public Health England. The Childhood Obesity Plan laid down ambitious targets, asking the industry to reduce sugar consumption by 20% by 2020, and a 5% reduction in the first year from a 2015 baseline of 12.4g/100g.

Reduction in sugar content

In the milk-based drinks category, a 20% reduction in sugar content from a 2017 baseline of 9.7g/100ml was also laid down, with an interim reduction of 10% by mid-2019. Progress on this interim reduction is expected later on in the year.

Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, said: “These results just go to show the fantastic work the industry has done to reduce the sugar content of dairy products, not just meeting but surpassing the year one target set by Government.” 

Dairy UK acknowledged that while further sugar reductions presented a challenge, the industry was working hard to deliver products with less sugar and still provide consumers with the taste and quality they expect. At the conference, challenges identified for sugar reduction in the milk-based drinks category included taste, texture and mouthfeel.

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