Cereal scandal

Thursday 5th October 2017
Breakfast brands avoid labelling to hide sugar levels

Cereal scandal

Breakfast cereal manufacturers are under fire after a new report attacked their 'scandalous' decision not to use Department of Health endorsed colour-coded labels to reveal the sugar content of their products.
Leading sugar and health expert group Action on Sugar, based at Queen Mary University of London, has called for the standardised colour-coded 'traffic light' front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling to be introduced across all food and drink products after exposing many perceived 'healthy' cereal brands who have failed to include the labelling – despite some products containing high levels of sugar which would equate to a red label.
While brands such as Bear, Jordans, Kellogg's and Nestle do use FOP labelling, they do not use the Department of Health's recommended colour-coding, making it very difficult for consumers to interpret the information and make informed decisions. A further six brands, including Eat Natural, Lizi's, Nature's Path, Paleo Foods Co., Rude Health and Dorset Cereals, offer no FOP nutrition labelling and some products contain high levels of sugar.
Action on Sugar says that if shoppers had access to consistent labelling allowing them to make informed decisions and switch to a lower-sugar cereal, they could reduce their intake by a whopping 45 teaspoons of sugar per month (182g).
Katharine Jenner, campaign director of Action on Sugar and FoodSwitch UK, says: 'Shoppers should be seeing red – and they would be if manufacturers used the correct labels! It's scandalous that certain food manufacturers are still refusing to be transparent when it comes to front-of-pack nutrition labelling. If there is no front-of-pack label with one brand, shoppers should assume they are hiding something – so buy another brand instead.'
In response to the report, Kellogg's said: 'Kellogg's is committed to improving the nation's diet; our long-term sugar-reduction programme has already seen sugar come down in some of our biggest brands, while removing 2,000 tonnes of sugar from the nation's diet by the end of 2017.'
• Use the free FoodSwitch UK app to scan barcodes of over 100,000 packaged food and drinks and access immediate, easy to understand colour-coded nutritional information, along with suggestions for healthier alternatives.

Share this page with your friends...