Valio reduces sugar in children’s snacks

Finns took a sugar survey by Valio in summer 2015. According to them, the sugar content of children’s snacks should be addressed. In order to match consumer preferences, Valio updated its snack selection for children. At the beginning of February, Valio introduced yoghurt and yoghurt puddings with less sugar. The products were developed in particular for children.

“When we asked consumers what snacks should contain less sugar, the answers were clear. The sugar content of children’s snacks should be especially addressed. According to Finns, children need not become accustomed to a sweet taste. Consumers find that many snack products for children contain too much sugar”, says Jussi Mattson, category manager at Valio.

Debates on sugar are increasing in Finland and the rest of the world. The food recommendations for families with children, published in January, also point out that sugar should be reduced, mentioning flavoured yoghurt as a significant source of added sugar in the diet of children. Up to 80% of Finnish children consume too much sugar, in comparison to the recommendations.** The WHO recommends that no more than 10% of daily energy intake should be from added sugar.

New yoghurt for children contain 40% less added sugar

The new Valio Play® snack range caters for consumer preferences in regard to children’s and teenagers’ snacks with less sugar.  Valio Play® yoghurt puddings contain 30% less added sugar compared to regular puddings. The amount of added sugar in the range’s yoghurt has been reduced even more, by 40% compared to conventional children’s yoghurt. However, no compromise has been made on the flavour.

“Children and teenagers themselves are the key to the inspiring flavour of the new snacks. They have contributed to the development of yoghurt and yoghurt pudding for 100% tasty products”, says Hanna Savolainen, marketing manager at Valio.

The new Valio Play® yoghurt pudding not only has the flavour with less sugar – but fruity and berry-rich yoghurt puddings are a fresh choice for daily consumption. The pudding flavours are strawberry, pear and banana. Valio Play® yoghurt flavours are children’s and teenagers’ favourites: strawberry, raspberry, banana and pear. The smooth texture of the yoghurt is proven to be enjoyed by children.

The new snacks are lactose-free and contain the world’s most extensively researched LGG® lactic acid bacteria, and vitamin D.

In the summer of 2015, Valio launched a five-year project to reduce the sugar content of its snack products.  The goal is to reduce the sugar content of Valio’s dairy-based snack products, yoghurt in particular, by 50% by 2020 – with no compromise on the flavour. Now already, one-third of Valio’s dairy-based snack products in Finland are sugar-free or contain at least 30% less added sugar compared to conventional snack products.

* Valio's sugar survey in the valio.fi service and Valio's Facebook site, July–August/2015 (n=2,993)
**Aino-Maija Eloranta’s dissertationDiet, Body Adiposity and Cardiometabolic Risk in a Population Sample of Primary School Children, 2014