An NHS Supply Chain spokesman told Food Manufacture that Weetabix products, such as Wheat Biscuits and Alpen range of breakfast bars, would still be available to order by NHS trusts.
“Patients are therefore still able to have Weetabix for breakfast in those NHS hospitals that choose to purchase Weetabix,” said the spokesman. “Any previous issues around the availability of Weetabix were unrelated to the breakfast savings initiative.”
Notices referring to the availability of the products were linked to just one of NHS Supply Chain’s routes to market, which had no affect on its wholesaler network.
The comments from the wholesaler followed reports that the Government had called on the National Health Service to reduce the amount of money it spent on food and drink. Hospital trusts could save up to £420,000 a year if they got better deals on breakfast items, according to The Guardian.
Minister for health Stephen Hammond said the Breakfast Savings Initiative, which is part of a drive to save £2.4bn across the NHS, could help improve services long-term.
Products targeted for savings included juice, tea, coffee, sugar, jam, tinned tomatoes and beans. Hospital trusts were encouraged to source their food from NHS Supply Chain if they didn’t already.
The Daily Mail claimed breakfast cereals and snack bars manufactured by Weetabix would be unavailable in hospitals as part of the money-saving scheme, due to their recently increased prices.
Weetabix declined to comment on the alleged delisting of its products from UK hospitals.
Meanwhile, in February, Weetabix switched from XPO to Wincanton for certain transport, warehousing and co-packing services. The partnership was composed of two separate five-year contracts and represented the first time Weetabix has forged a long-term relationship with the logistics giant.