Premier Foods - reformulation case studies

“We've seen a growing trend of consumers looking for healthier options but they can be concerned that healthier products mean a taste compromise.

Mr Kipling's healthier cake range, Delightful, has been re-developed to be lower in calories and saturated fat, whilst still delivering a great tasting treat”

George Uden, Head of Product Development, Cake Business Unit, Premier Foods


  • Reformulation of Delightful builds on the health and nutrition programme in place at Premier Foods since 2003.
  • Significant reductions in sugar (up to by 49%) and saturated fat (up to by 47%) have been achieved thanks to the development of Delightful.
  • The project involved extensive technical assessments of a wide range of fat replacers before focusing on the polydextrose and natural dietary fibre combination.
  • The project took 18 months to develop The overall investment in research and the product launch totalled over £800,000.

Premier Foods is one of the largest food manufacturers in the UK and Ireland, producing a wide variety of foods under well-known brands such as Hovis, Mr Kipling, Oxo, Sharwood's, Ambrosia and Hartleys.

Delightful chocolate packThe company is responding to consumers' desire to eat more healthily by producing cakes with reduced saturated fat and fewer calories which still taste great.

In January 2006 Mr Kipling launched a range of lower fat and calorie cakes called Delightful. Since then it has undertaken extensive development work to reformulate the Delightful range in order to reduce both sugar and saturated fat.

Additionally both calories and fat have significant reductions in the Delightful range, compared to their counterparts in the standard Mr Kipling range, while still achieving the taste and texture performance expected of Mr Kipling cakes.

In January 2009 Mr Kipling Delightful relaunched with nearly 50% less saturated fat (up to 47% reduction) and sugar (up to 49% reduction). The new range consists of three cake slices – chocolate, apple and country.

The product is available in a twin pack format helping consumers easily control their portions without wastage.

Delightful has been a long time in development, because each recipe is considered to be relatively technically advanced. Extensive consumer testing was carried out in order to find the optimum reduction of saturated fat which would still deliver great taste. More than £800,000 has been invested in research and the launch of the new range.

Premier Foods continues to reformulate standard ranges and extend its range of healthier options across the portfolio to help meet consumer dietary and lifestyle needs.

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Last reviewed: 06 Jul 2009