The food industry is digesting a new challenge issued by Public Health England to reduce the amount of sugar consumed by children in every day foods by 5% by August 2017 and 20% by 2020, using three approaches. 

1)  Reformulating products to lower the levels of sugar present.

2)  Reducing the portion size, and/or the number of calories in single-serve products.

3)  Shifting consumer purchasing towards lower or no added sugar products.

‘Sugar reduction: Achieving the 20%’ links to technical guidelines explaining the three approaches and listing the recommended sugar limits for 9 food groups carrying the bulk of the sugar intake

  • breakfast cereals
  • yoghurts
  • biscuits
  • cakes
  • croissants and other ‘morning goods’
  • puddings
  • ice creams, lollies and sorbets
  • confectionery
  • sweet spreads, sub-divided into

chocolate spread

peanut butter

dessert toppings and sauces

fruit spreads

While there is broad support across the food industry for the ambition to cut children’s sugar intake, experts question how the targets can be enforced and the viability of the reduction timetable set by the government. The Food & Drink Federation has consistently said that a 20% sugar reduction by 2020 across all foods covered “won’t be technically possible or acceptable to UK consumers”