Less sugar – great taste!
To further healthy nutrition, H. & J. Brüggen KG is voluntarily pledging to significantly cut sugar and currently has already lowered it by a double-digit percentage.
Lowered sugar content in food – a global issue
The food industry has been working on an issue for a while, not only in Germany but worldwide. Sugar, salt and fat are seen as the main risk factors for diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Reducing these three items in food is something that both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission (EC) have called for. The goal is to support healthier living, in particular for those parts of the population that are hard or impossible to reach with preventive measures targeting their behaviour. The European strategy is based on a coordinated approach, having appealed to EU member states a while ago to implement recipe changes for food, also called reformulations, on a national level.
Corporate philosophy in line with pledge
As one of the leading makers of high-quality grain-based foods, it goes without saying that our products and their recipes are continuously adapted to keep up with current quality standards and developments in the field of healthy nutrition. Last December, Julia Klöckner, the Federal Minister of Agriculture (CDU), and the food industry struck an agreement to reduce sugar in cereal for children by 20% by 2025, which is a logical extension of our corporate philosophy that has existed for many years. When making our products, we always look at nutrition details and seek a balanced and high-quality selection of ingredients. For that reason, we have obviously been working on lowering sugar and salt contents for a while. However, we have increased our focus on reducing them as a result of the recent voluntary pledge. Less sugar and salt in exchange for more fibre and whole grains!
Getting closer to the goal thanks to technical support
As part of the pledge of the European food and beverage industry that was initiated by Julia Klöckner, we are now incorporating our efforts into an official setting along with a specific target date. At the moment, sugar in our products for the German markets has already been lowered by an average double-digit percentage. As such, there is nothing keeping us from achieving the required reduction of 20% in cereal for children by 2025.
The introduction of new software has enabled us to pinpoint sugar and salt contents broken down by product category and country over the course of the years and to robustly document the reductions already accomplished. Thanks to this technical support, we are now even more efficient and can analyse exactly which products contain how much sugar and which countries already show more of a tendency towards sugar-reduced products compared to others.
Spotlight at Brüggen not only on cereal for children
Reformulating our recipes to conform to healthy eating is a subject that has always been with us throughout our 150 years of history. We are committed to reducing added sugar and not just in our cereals for children. We also aim to have a maximum of 18 grams of added sugar per 100 grams of our Brüggen crunchy muesli. And this affects many other products in our assortment – all for the benefit of our health-conscious customers.
We always face the challenge that our products are supposed to become healthier, but also, very importantly, taste good. That is why we do without artificial sweeteners wherever possible.
Our goals is to take out sugar step by step so that our consumers don’t feel irritated and think to themselves: “I recognise the packaging design, but the taste has changed.” Something we definitely want to avoid is that our customers add sweeteners to our products at home or maybe even buy other, sweeter products.
Healthy and delicious: slowly weaning customers off the sweet taste
In addition to changing the recipe, another challenge that we face as a company is this one: how do we communicate to end consumers that our products contain less sugar? According to law, actively advertising this is only possible if 30% of sugar is slashed at once. A reduction that high in a single step would have a noticeable negative impact on taste for our customers. For customers who have been buying the same product for years and are used to the taste, we aim to slowly guide them away from the sweetness. We’ll be successful when customers can’t taste that their cereal contains less sugar!
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