FDF members are committed to continuing to respond positively to public health
challenges, and to playing their role in helping consumers achieve balanced
diets. One part of this is the reformulation of products. This can be to lower
levels of energy or nutrients that might impact on health, for example
fat and salt, alongside providing specific ranges of ‘reduced’ products. It can
also be to enhance the positive aspects of products, so including more fruit
vegetables or increasing the fibre, vitamin or mineral content for example.
work is all carried out without compromising products’ great taste and whilst
continuing to ensure food safety.
The UK food and drink manufacturing industry is now widely recognised as leading
the world when it comes to reformulating products; extending consumer choice;
and providing clear on-pack nutrition labelling.
As far back as 2004 FDF launched a sector-wide health and wellbeing manifesto
setting out a clear action plan for food and drink manufacturers. Over the
our members have taken a wide range of action to reformulate products,
some of Britain’s best loved brands, to make them healthier whilst maintaining
their customer appeal. For example, over the last five years, as a result of
such industry changes, there has been a 10% reduction in salt levels in FDF
members' products compared with 2008.
Even with this impressive achievement, our members are continuing to look for
new and innovative ways to make further changes and to respond to the
that are being set to the food industry by government and campaigners. Many of
our members have signed up to the Public Health Responsibility Deal and have
committed to reach stretching salt targets, as well as looking at innovative
reduce the energy content of products.
We worked with the Scottish Government as it developed its voluntary healthy
choices framework and members are now considering how best they can contribute
this. In addition in Scotland, SFDF provides a free of charge reformulation
service to small and medium businesses, funded by the Scottish Government. View more details on the reformulation service
To highlight industry’s commitment to the Responsibility Deal and to mark the
latest annual updates, FDF have produced a PDF highlighting the work done by companies, including reformulation, on the calorie reduction pledge.
FDF has also prepared a report to showcase the work
of members more broadly than the Responsibility Deal. The report, entitled “Health and Wellbeing Report”, is used as a tool
for building greater awareness and understanding among the media,
and other key stakeholders.
The Responsibility Deal’s Food Network launched a calorie reduction pledge on 24
March 2012, to help the government achieve its aim of reducing the population’s
calorie intake by 5 billion calories. At the time of launch 17 companies signed
the pledge; this has now grown to 43. The pledge covers a range of
actions, but one way a food or drink company can contribute is through
reformulation to reduce the amount of calories in a product.
The Department of Health is working with manufacturers, retailers and caterers
to secure voluntary reductions in salt, and is striving to reduce the average
population salt intake to 6g/day. Following the launch of the Responsibility Deal on 15 March 2011, many FDF members have signed up to the salt targets, indicating their continuing commitment to salt reduction. These targets have
recently been reviewed, and FDF and our members engaged with the government
throughout this process. The new targets are set for completion in 2017. View new salt targets
FDF members remain committed to working with government and other stakeholders
to help reduce salt in the UK diet. Technical issues and consumer acceptance
present considerable barriers to further reformulation and the sector will
to look for solutions to reduce salt intakes and to seek opportunities and
support for pre-competitive research and collaborations
See FDF's policy briefing on salt for more information.
Trans Fatty Acids
Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs) are only found at low levels in foods on the UK market.
The latest data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) indicates
that intakes in the UK are 0.7% of food energy for adults, which includes
occurring trans fatty acids. NDNS 2008-2012 (pdf). This means that current intakes are less than half of the UK government’s
recommended maximum TFA intake of 2% of food energy. Nevertheless some
TFAs remain in a small number of products, and where this is the case FDF
have signed up to the Responsibility Deal target to eliminate these.
See FDF's policy briefing on trans fatty acids.
Many of our members have already reformulated to significantly reduce the
amounts of saturated fat in products. Several members made commitments to the
Department of Health saturated fat pledge, launched as part of the
in October. The Scottish Government has recently published it’s “Supporting Healthy Choices (pdf)” paper. This includes several commitments which could encompass saturated fat
reduction or removal; but does not include voluntary targets. View the Healthy Choices Voluntary Framework.
See FDF’s policy briefing on saturated fat
1.Kantar data compiled for FDF, January 2013.
Last reviewed: 23 May 2016