Associate feature: Support to make food and drink products healthier

Written by Cat Hay on 11 February 2019 in Comment

Cat Hay, Policy Manager, Food and Drink Federation Scotland, on reformulating food and drink

Image credit: FDF

‘Reformulation’ has been happening in the food and drink industry for many years now - it’s a word that’s become much more common, but what does it actually mean?

Simply put, it means changing the recipe of an existing food or drink product with the aim of making it healthier. Reformulation was initially based on targeting specific food ingredients (think salt reduction) but now the idea of reformulating foods has evolved, changing recipes to make them healthier can be about adding ingredients as well as reducing them.

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and our members are committed to helping consumers achieve a balanced diet within a healthy lifestyle. Over the past five years FDF members have reduced energy in the average shopping basket by 5.5% and sugars by 12.1%. Here in Scotland, 95% of food and drink companies are SMEs who are every bit as ambitious as the larger companies in helping consumers to make healthier choices. 

Last month, Public Health Minister, Joe FitzPatrick, convened a reformulation event. There was a lively discussion around the commercial opportunities of consumer demand for healthier products and also the risks that changing recipes can bring. Shoppers can be very loyal to their favourite foods and sometimes changing a recipe can provoke a bit of a backlash. Market insights are key to getting this right.

With this in mind, FDF Scotland is appointing a Reformulation Connector, funded by the Scottish Government, who will help small food businesses capitalise on support and funding to make their products healthier. We want to make sure we are able to support as many food businesses in Scotland as possible. I would encourage you to make food businesses you meet with aware of this support available through FDF Scotland and to put them in touch with us.

Twitter: @FDFScotland email: info@fdfscotland.org.uk telephone: 0131 229 9415

This piece was sponsored by FDFScotland

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