Danone announces ban on HFSS products in the UK and Ireland
90% of its product portfolio will no longer be high in sugar and fat
Just a couple of days after German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir announced a draft law aimed at limiting the advertising of food deemed unhealthy (see EFA News entitled Germany censors junk food ads) and three days after the Windsor Framework, Danone announces new health commitments for its milk, plant and water based products in the UK and Ireland. The dairy giant has pledged never to launch a High in Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) product for children, i.e. one that is high in sugar, salt or fat. As part of this commitment, Danone confirms that 90% of its product portfolio based on sales volume "will not be high in sugar, salt or fat, as defined in current UK Government policy and legislation of the British Government on HFSS".
In addition, adds the company in an official statement, "at least 90% of the product portfolio will be classified as healthy receiving a score of at least 3.5 stars out of 5 - within the Health Star rating index". The international index evaluates the overall nutritional profile of packaged foods and provides a quick, easy indication of packaged foods and provides a quick, easy and standard way to compare foods. Danone UK & Ireland also intend to implement clear and consistent nutrition labeling on the front of the pack, in line with future UK and Irish legislation: the company says it will publish nutrition facts from its portfolio on its website using the UK government's HSR and HFSS guidelines as benchmarks, as well as product nutrition information.
The announcement comes at a time when British consumers are increasingly health conscious: research commissioned by Danone UK & Ireland reveals that 94% of British consumers try to eat healthily and pay attention to the food they eat all the time , or at least in part. Consumers are also very attentive to the sugar and fat content of a product when they decide to buy it: these nutritional elements worry almost half (respectively 50% for sugars and 49% for fats) of all buyers of the United Kingdom.
The company hopes its pledges will encourage others to raise food and drink health standards in the UK and Ireland: the company points out that these pledges are "the new minimum threshold that Danone UK's consumer brands will be held to Ireland, including Alpro, Activia, Light & Free, Actimel, Oykos, Volvic and Evian". "Today -explains James Mayer , president of Danone UK & Ireland-, consumers are more health conscious than they have ever been. As an industry, we must continue to help consumers make healthy choices by offering products that are at the same time tasty and nutritious.For this reason, as a purpose-driven company, we are committed to maintaining a portfolio strongly focused on health".
EFA News - European Food Agency