We're Cutting Down on Sugar

From early 2017, Coco Pops Original will contain 14% less sugar, reducing from 35g to 30g per 100g, along with an increase in fibre content to 3g per 100g. This means that Coco Pops Original contains less than two teaspoons in every 30g serving. Our taste and food quality are always of high importance to us and we have maintained the same great taste of Coco Pops Original that both kids and adults love. This sugar reduction alone is predicted to cut more than 600 tonnes of sugar from the UK diet in 2017. In total, we will remove an estimated 2000 tonnes between 2011 and the end of 2017 from Kellogg's cereals and snacks.

New Product Launches: Highlights in 2016

  • Ancient Legends Porridge Sachets: oats, barley, spelt and chia seeds porridge, including no added sugar and naturally sweetened with dates options.
  • Original Wheats: No added sugar, high fibre and a source of B vitamins & iron. Also, heart healthy - low in saturated fat and salt.
  • Frosties: a 30% reduced sugar option added to the range.
  • Coco Pops Choco Bakes: 40% less sugar than other chocolate cake bars, a source of calcium & a good source of fibre, and with no artificial colours or preservatives.

Dietary recommendations for carbohydrate were revised in 2015, and called on all individuals (adult and children alike) to reduce intake of free sugars.1 Breakfast cereals have been cited in the media, and by some influential individuals, as a significant contributor to sugar in the UK diet. However, the UK National Dietary Survey shows that breakfast cereals in fact contribute just 6.5% of extrinsic dietary sugars (5-8% children and 5% adults).2 Despite this, at Kellogg’s we are continually seeking ways to improve the nutrition profile of our foods – including lowering sugar content – without compromising on taste or quality.

Challenges of Sugar Reduction?

Reducing the sugar content of breakfast cereals is not as easy as it sounds. Sugar plays a number of important roles in breakfast cereals in addition to adding sweetness. For example, sugar helps absorb moisture during the baking/toasting process helping to give the right texture to cereals, helps ingredients to bind together to give each cereal its iconic flake or shape, and browns during toasting to give colour. Sugar also contributes to the perfect crunchy texture of our cereal, ensuring each spoonful is as crunchy as the first. Sugar also acts as a preservative - helping to keep cereal fresh once the pack is opened.

It’s not surprising then that it can take some time to get everything right. This may even involve introducing new technologies and equipment into our manufacturing plants. Our consumers are our biggest critics and are an important part of this process. Our experience around the world shows us that consumers are more willing to accept our foods when the sugar is reduced gradually over time.

Myth: less sugar = lower calories

Reducing the sugar content of breakfast cereals in fact has little impact on the energy that they provide. This is because sugar and starch contain weight for weight the same number of calories. A 30g bowl of a low sugar cereal, will have a similar carbohydrate content as a higher sugar cereal. As the sugar is replaced by starch the calorie content will remain similar. This is demonstrated in the product panels below.

Why reformulate by stealth?

Stealth = surreptitious or difficult to detect.
in Oxford English dictionary

At Kellogg’s, we have five Global Breakfast Food Beliefs covering a broad range of topics from sustainability to farmers, and from education to product evolution.

As part of these we are committed to reducing the sugar content of our foods, and in fact this has been happening in the UK and across Europe since 2010. Specific examples of sugar reductions in the UK include Bran Flakes (30% reduction) and Special K Flakes (10% reduction).

It’s not just about sugar

Kellogg’s food evolution goes beyond sugar, and includes, for example, salt and fibre improvements, as well as the continued monitoring of the contribution of cereals to micronutrients in the diet.

  • Since 1998, we have achieved a 57% reduction in the amount of salt in our cereals through innovation and reformulation.
  • In 2012, we responded to public health need by adding vitamin D to a range of our foods.
  • 94% of our breakfast cereals are now at least a source of fibre (3g or more fibre per 100g).#

Start the Day Right

For both children and adults in the UK, fortified breakfast cereals provide a major source of iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, Vitamin D and folate.2,3 Most bowls of Kellogg’s breakfast cereal* provide at least 25% of recommended intake of 6 B-group vitamins (thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, folic acid), Vitamin D (in kids and family cereals) and at least 15% of the recommended intake for iron. We believe that enjoyment and appeal of our products are essential if they are to make a nutritional contribution to the diets of consumers. The challenge for all food manufacturers is therefore to meet health expectations in terms of formulation without compromising product quality, taste or price.

#calculated October 2016
*currently most Kellogg cereals sold in the UK and Ireland are fortified

 

REFERENCES:

  1. SACN (2015) Carbohydrates and Health. TSO London
  2. Bates et al (2016) National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 5-6 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2012/13-2013/14). Public Health England
  3. Holmes BA et al (2011) The contribution of breakfast cereals to the nutritional intake of the materially deprived UK population. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 10 August 2011; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2011.143.