Sugar-related restrictions in food are tightening – gain competitive edge with reduced sugar products

Tightening regulations around sugar and the increasing consumer demand for better-for-you choices are both a challenge and a great opportunity for food companies. The production of reduced sugar products helps confectionery manufacturers maintain their competitive edge in the rapidly evolving indulgence category.

To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages – this is one of World Health Organization’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Naturally, good nutrition is a major contributor to the overall well-being of people.

Organizations, councils, and legislators around the world are coming up with ways to promote healthy diet and eating, and to reduce the consumption of unhealthy foods. When recommendations and other voluntary means of guiding people’s eating habits are not enough, legislators often impose restrictions.

Many EU countries have introduced sugar taxes that make high-sugar products, such as soft drinks, chocolate, and confectionery, more expensive for manufacturers to sell and for consumers to buy. Other restrictive means include requirements for front-of-pack nutrition labelling, nutrient profiles, and restrictions on marketing.

EU Green Deal initiative and Farm to Fork Strategy impact the indulgence sector

EU regulations concerning unhealthy foods are expected to increase and tighten in the coming years. The EU’s European Green Deal plan aims at making the EU's economy sustainable. The Green Deal plan includes a Farm to Fork Strategy that impacts the production of food. Its aim is to make food systems fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly.

The Farm to Fork Strategy is expected to have many effects on the sales and consumption of unhealthy foods. The planned initiatives would urge product reformulation and restrict the promotion and marketing of food products that are high in sugar, salt, and/or fat.

Expected measures include:

  • Harmonisation of front-of-pack nutrition labelling.
  • Creation of nutrient profiles.
  • Restrictions on the use of nutrition and health claims.
  • Restrictions on promoting products in schools and other public institutions.
  • Adapting marketing and advertising strategies.

These measures deeply impact the market of indulgence foods, as they often contain high amounts of sugar, salt, and fat. Those confectionery manufacturers who can find ways to develop products with better nutritional value, will gain a competitive edge in the changing operational environment.

Successful confectionery products combine several health trends

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health effects of food. They read labels carefully and often go for the better-for-you choice whenever one is available. As sugar has a negative image, there is a clear trend of avoiding sugar when making every-day food choices.

Consumer demand for better-for-you products extends to the indulgence category, as well. People are looking for green light for indulgence. They want to trade their regular indulgent foods for products that have less of the bad things and more of the good things. The key to successful better-for-you products is to replace a part of the ingredients with healthier and more natural alternatives.

Adding reduced sugar products to your portfolio helps you:

  1. Maintain your competitive edge with better-for-you products.
  2. Get sugar claims like ‘reduced sugar’.
  3. Meet the health and well-being trends.

In chocolate and confectionery, you can hit three trends with one solution. With Valio milk powders, you can manufacture chocolate with reduced sugar, high protein, and digestive wellness. You are just chancing milk powder, which is already present in milk chocolate, to Valio’s value adding milk powders. This means that you’re not replacing the reduced sugar with anything that consumers would consider unnatural, such as artificial sweeteners.

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Looking for delicious tasting, reduced-sugar ice cream solutions?

Wondering about sugar-related restrictions and legislation?

Our business development manager Sinikka Saikkonen knows the regulatory affairs and can help. Fill up the form below and send your message or question to us.

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