Survey reveals parents’ views on low sugar foods

EFSA to give advice on the intake of sugar added to food

A survey carried out by parenting website Netmums and the international authority for sugar claims on foods Sugarwise has revealed that 80% of parents regularly look for low or no sugar products for their family, yet 30% of parents say they are unable to find these products in store.

The research, undertaken ahead of the Westminster Sugar Summit has also revealed that parents have most trouble finding healthy lunchbox snacks, with 38% complaining they have trouble finding low sugar options in supermarkets.

17% of parents say that they have been unable to find low/no sugar breakfast cereal, 15% have been unable to find low/no sugar desserts, 17% have been unable to find low/no sugar pasta sauce, and 12% have been unable to find low/no sugar baking ingredients.

Despite the lack of product availability, the Netmums/Sugarwise survey also revealed many parents would be willing to spend more on low sugar foods if they were available with 40% saying they would be happy to pay more for healthy option foods as long as the products taste good.

When asked which foods they’d like to see low sugar versions of at local supermarket, the top five products cited by parents were: sweet biscuits; sweetened or flavoured yogurt; sweet breakfast cereal; sweet cakes/pastries; and jams and sweet spreads.

Anne-Marie O’Leary, Netmums editor in chief, says, “Childhood obesity is a national concern and Netmums users are increasingly worried about the levels of sugar consumption by children. Yet, our survey shows despite consumer demand for more low sugar formulations and the willingness to pay more if needed for low sugar options, retailers are failing to make these products available on shelf.”

Sugarwise has also revealed that manufacturers who specialise in producing lower sugar products are not being stocked around 80% of the time, despite all these manufacturers able to produce at a large-scale capacity.

Rend Platings, CEO and founder of Sugarwise, comments, “When I became a mum, I was shocked to find out my daughter was likely to live a shorter life than me, due to the excessive levels of sugar consumption. It’s no surprise consumption is so high when mums, and other shoppers, struggle to find lower sugar products on supermarket’s shelves.

“I started Sugarwise to do something about this unacceptable reality, and I’m delighted Netmums is taking up the cause to show that there is a huge demand for less sugar. The good news is we work with many manufacturers who produce biscuits, chocolates, cakes, ice creams, granola, drinks and more, that are all low in free sugars – exactly what mums and dads are looking for.”

 

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