Since the beginning of 2017, SPAR Austria has removed a total of 1,270 tons of sugar across 300 SPAR private brand products. Now, the retailer has gone one step further and, where possible, has set sugar limits for individual product categories. So far, more than 40 companies and organizations in Austria have joined SPAR Austria’s sugar reduction initiative, launched in April 2019 with the common goal to reduce sugar in food products.
A great many SPAR private brand products now contain less sugar than industry brands or competitor private brands. For example, for the new SPAR Natur pur organic Crispies (both classic and chocolate), a recipe with the lowest possible sugar content was developed. With 14g or 15g sugar per 100g, the product contains up to 12g less sugar per 100g than comparable products.
“We also set sugar limits for individual product ranges. Our partner SIPCAN, in coordination with the Austrian Ministry of Health, regularly defines sugar limit values for the beverage sector, and we adhere to these when launching new own brand products. This means that newly introduced SPAR Own Brand beverages, wherever possible, do not exceed the sugar content of 6.7g sugar per 100ml”, explains SPAR Austria’s CEO, Dr Gerhard Drexel.
With regard to the sugar content, the recipes of 296 SPAR private brand products were revised since 2017, and the results are impressive.
“We have cut 1,270 tons of sugar since the launch of our initiative”, reports Dr Gerhard Drexel. “We revised the recipes not just once, but sometimes two or three times, to allow consumers to slowly get used to a less sweet taste. We call this the evolution of taste sensation.”
The most significant decrease in sugar content was in beverages; 41% of the total 1,270 tons was cut in beverages, 29% in basic food items, and 11% in dairy products.
With Felix Austria, a famous food producer in Austria, another well-known partner has joined the sugar reduction initiative, along with 41 companies, medical associations, and the Austrian Medical Chamber.
“The increasing number of sugar-reduced foods and the continuous growth of this product category shows the growing importance of the topic of ‘sugar’ – not only in our diet but also for the industry. For us at Felix Austria, it is a natural progression to become part of SPAR’s sugar reduction initiative. Felix Austria has always been watching consumer needs and responded with the launch of sugar-free or sugar-reduced products”, said Peter Buchauer, CEO of Felix Austria.