News article

28 July 2009

Saturated fat reduction: food industry leads the way

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PRESS RELEASE

Responding to the launch of the Food Standards Agency's consultation on reducing the saturated fat and energy content of food and drink products, Julian Hunt, Food and Drink Federation (FDF)[1 ] Director of Communications, says:

"Our sector's world-class capabilities in research and development have allowed us to tackle the complex task of changing the recipes of much-loved British brands without compromising on quality or taste. FDF's members have been rising to this particular challenge for a number of years – and are now leading the world when it comes to developing new products, and refreshing old favourites, so that they are lower in saturated fat or energy.

“Data from independent consultancy Mintel compiled for a new FDF report[2] shows that more than 700 products have been launched with new recipes since January 2007 – the equivalent of nine a week. Mintel's research also suggests that total sales of healthier eating options in key food and drink categories are now worth £8bn - and in some areas are growing at twice the rate of the market as a whole.

“But there are very significant technical, financial and consumer challenges that companies have to overcome with every new recipe development, and policy makers need to be realistic about the pace at which our members can be expected to keep delivering new innovations – particularly in the current recession.

“We are pleased that the FSA has recognised the considerable work undertaken by our members. But we are disappointed that it appears to remain committed to setting arbitrary targets for specific nutrients in certain foods, rather than focusing on the need for everyone to achieve a balanced diet and lifestyle. We are committed to working in partnership with Government and its Agency to help consumers eat more healthily – and reformulation is just one of the ways in which we will continue to make a real difference.”

Information for editors

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit: www.fdf.org.uk
  2. FDF's Recipe for Change report includes case studies from apetito, Allied Bakeries, Baxters Food Group, Britvic Soft Drinks, Kellogg's, Kraft, Mars, McCain, Macphie of Glenbervie, Nairns, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Premier Foods, United Biscuits, Unilever and Young's Seafood.

More Information

FDF Press team
Keren McCarron on keren.mccarron@fdf.org.uk or 020 7420 7132
Sarah Lovell on sarah.lovell@fdf.org.uk or 020 7420 7131
Rebecca Wilhelm rebecca.wilhelm@fdf.org.uk or 020 7420 7140

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