F&B firms visit Parliament to promote innovation and healthy reformulation

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Leading food and drink businesses gathered in Parliament on 13 September 2023. Credit: Getty / Scott E Barbour
Leading food and drink businesses gathered in Parliament on 13 September 2023. Credit: Getty / Scott E Barbour

Related tags Innovation reformulation

Several leading food and drink manufacturers showcased new products in the House of Commons this week as part of the 'FDF Innovation For Healthier Diets – Parliamentary Tasting Event'.

The occasion provided MPs and Government officials the opportunity to meet with representatives from the food and drink industry and discuss the efforts made to reformulate in the wake of restrictions on the promotion of high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products.

The manufacturers present also showcased new innovations which are currently being rolled out in stores across the UK. Guests were able to try a wide array of options ranging from sweet treats to post-workout recovery drinks, supplied by the firms in attendance: Mars Wrigley, Nestle, Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I, Pladis, General Mills, Premier Foods, Danone, Ferrero and Kellogg’s.

Food industry ‘committed to healthier diets’

John Stevenson MP, who represents the constituency of Carlisle and sponsored the event, opened proceedings by lauding the industry for the “huge amounts​” it has achieved by reducing salt and sugar levels in countless products.

Stevenson was followed by FDF chief executive Karen Betts, who touched on the “central role​” that food and drink plays in people’s lives and the important challenges that manufacturers have responded to “throughyears of innovation, years of research and millions of pounds worth of investment​”.

Betts continued: “This is a journey, and it is a work in progress, but [creating healthier and more nutritious food] is absolutely a goal that the industry is committed to for the long haul​.”

Betts also highlighted the FDF’s ‘Action on Fibre’ initiative, which has sought to champion the importance of bridging the gap between the average fibre intake and dietary recommendations. More than 20 manufacturers are now part of the scheme and several added fibre products were on display in Parliament.

Science in food ‘rivals any industry’

Jacinta George, managing director of event partner Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL), echoed Betts in her address, further emphasising the time and expense associated with efforts to reduce the salt and sugar content in food.

Reformulation is not just simply taking one ingredient out and adding another ingredient in​,” George told the audience of MPs and industry leaders.

It is state of the art, deep science combining the brightest talent in this country across the most sophisticated laboratories to rival any industry​.”

RSSL supports food and drink manufacturers of all size with innovation and reformulation, providing scientific expertise and training.

In other news, vertically grown salad bags are now on sale in Asda, courtesy of the newly formed brand Homegrown. Find out more about this story and other product innovation in our latest NPD round up​.

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