Health & Nutrition

As a leading British food company, we have an obligation to do what we can to encourage healthier food choices.

We are committed to playing an active role in encouraging healthier food choices through our wide portfolio of much-loved brands. For many years, we’ve been adapting our recipes, portion sizes and labelling to give our consumers ‘better for you’ options without compromising on the quality and taste they expect. And we’ve made sure that we advertise and promote our products responsibly, particularly when it comes to children. Some of the steps we’ve taken are listed below:
  • We’ve eliminated harmful artificial trans fats from all our products
  • We’ve made great strides in reducing salt in a wide range of products. Since 2010, we’ve removed around 1000 tonnes of salt from our food through targeted programmes and specific technologies. We’ve introduced reduced salt versions of everyday favourites such as Oxo and Bisto and we’ve risen to the challenge across a range of other categories. See below for more.
  • We’ve invested in single portion packs for Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes, which now represent 40% of our branded cake portfolio, growing twice as fast as the rest
  • We’ve introduced an ‘exceedingly good’ range of Mr Kipling cake slices with oats, fruits and coconut, all less than 140 calories a slice. See below for more.
  • We’ve included one of your ‘five a day’ in more than half our Loyd Grossman, Sharwood’s and Homepride cooking sauces
  • We’ve fortified Ambrosia Mini Pots of rice and custard with essential Vitamin D in addition to being a natural source of calcium
  • We were one of the first companies to implement front of pack traffic light nutrition labelling, which is now found across all our brands
  • We are committed to following all relevant voluntary codes governing the advertising and marketing of our products, and we avoid marketing our products in media aimed directly at children

Premier Foods' 10 Health Commitments

We recognise more needs to be done to promote healthier lifestyles, so we are making a commitment to go further. Over the next three years, we will: 

  1. Remove 1,000 tonnes of added sugar from our portfolio by 2018 (vs 2015 base year), primarily through a 4 -10% reduction across our cake, desserts and cooking sauces brands. 
  2. Introduce calorie caps for Mr. Kipling cakes. By 2018, all individual cakes will be 150 calories or less, all pastry products will be 200 calories or less, and all celebration, premium and seasonal cakes will be 350 calories or less per portion
  3. Continue expanding the proportion of single portion packs of cake from 40% to at least 50% of our branded cake portfolio by 2018, to help consumers control their intake 
  4. Ensure at least three-quarters of new products in our Grocery portfolio are better for you choices
  5. Launch nutritious new products, including a range of affordable quick meals with higher levels of fibre, protein and micro nutrients
  6. Reduce salt to meet the Government’s 2017 salt targets in 15 categories, and ensure all new products are in line with these targets
  7. Prohibit the advertising or marketing of foods high in sugar, salt or fat in any broadcast and non-broadcast media directly targeted at children under the age of 16
  8. Help improve consumer understanding of nutrition by enhancing the information we provide through our own communications channels and continuing to champion front of pack traffic light nutrition labelling.  
  9. Work with our suppliers to create innovative new technologies, ingredients and products that will provide a nutritional benefit to our brands
  10. Expand healthy eating programmes across all of our factories and offices to encourage colleagues to make healthier choices

Case Study: Reducing sugar in Ambrosia custard and rice pudding 

Since last year, we have been working to reduce sugar in our best-selling desserts products – Ambrosia custard and rice pudding.  Thus far, we have removed 112 tonnes of from our Ambrosia Devon custard recipes across all formats, which equals a 7% reduction in added sugar. 5000354800931_T1.jpg

Looking ahead, we plan to reformulate further. Not only will we remove an additional 7% of added sugar from the Ambrosia standard custard recipe, but we also plan to achieve a 10% reduction in added sugar in our rice pudding standard and low-fat recipes across all formats. By completing the second phase of sugar reduction in these Ambrosia dessert products, we expect to remove further 210 tonnes of sugar from the UK diet (based on last year sales data).


Case Study: Sugar reduction in Mr Kipling Viennese Whirls

mr-kipling-vw.jpgIn support of our commitment to sugar reduction, in February 2017, we launched our new and improved Viennese Whirls. After more than a year of development, trialling and consumer testing, we developed a recipe which contains lower sugar and saturated fat levels by using natural ingredients.

Sugar reduction was targeted in both the biscuit and the crème and saturated fat reduction was achieved in the crème filling.  Overall this also led to a calorie reduction.

Based on the previous year’s sales, as a result of our reformulation, we are expecting to remove 450 million calories, 50 tonnes of saturated fat and 50 tonnes of sugar from the market.


Case study: Innovation from Batchelors

​We’ve launched three new product ranges from Batchelors which directly support two of our recent health commitments to encourage healthier food choices:

1) To launch nutritious new products with higher levels of fibre, protein and macro nutrients and 2) To ensure at least three-quarters of the new products in our Grocery portfolio are ‘better for you’ choices.

Capture2.JPGThe innovation from Batchelors includes High Veg Pots – vegetable pasta and noodles with Mediterranean and Oriental inspired sauces – Soup & Dippers Pots and High Protein Pots, all of which provide consumers with one of their five a day and are low in sugar and fat.
We’re continually looking to develop products which help retailers cater for the growing number of health conscious consumers who are on the lookout for convenient, healthy, time-saving products. 


Case study: Reformulating to improve our pasta sauces

We've removed 40 tonnes of salt from our cooking sauces, an average of 30%, since 2010 and now meet all Government 2017 salt guidelines. We’ve also worked hard to make our sauces more nutritious; for example, around 70% of the sauces we sell already contain one of your five fruit and veg a day, with all of our Loyd Grossman tomato-based sauces containing a minimum of one serving of vegetables. 

Looking ahead, we’re planning even further changes to make our sauces healthier. For example, we’re working on adding 50% more vegetables to our Homepride pasta bake sauces as well as removing added sugar from these and some of our most popular Asian cooking sauces.



Case Study: Ambrosia mini pots with calcium and vitamin D


In 2014, we launched the Ambrosia Mini Pots range - delicious pots of custard and rice pudding specially formulated for young children with calcium and added vitamin D.
Getting a good balance of all nutrients, vitamins and minerals is important to overall health. But there are some, such as calcium and vitamin D, that are vital for growth and development in young children. 

Calcium is particularly important for strong bones and teeth and is most commonly available from milk and dairy products. Vitamin D also has a special function as it helps small children absorb the calcium they need from food and use this to build strong bones. It also supports the immune system. Often called the ‘sunshine vitamin’, Vitamin D is produced by our bodies when the skin is exposed to sunlight. However, in the winter when the sun’s rays are not strong enough, we need to get vitamin D from our diet even though very few foods contain this naturally.
Ambrosia mini pots bring together calcium from dairy goodness and added vitamin D as partners in the same dessert helping support strong bones. They also come in convenient small pot sizes suitable for younger appetites and with sugar levels that are similar to those found in flavoured or fruity yoghurts for children.   


Case Study: Using seaweed to reduce salt content

Reducing salt levels in our food can be very challenging, both technically and in terms of taste but is important for people’s health and in reaching national dietary goals. 

For many years, we’ve worked on reducing salt across our portfolio. One of our biggest challenges, however,  was with Batchelors noodles and pasta ranges. With these types of products, reducing salt can often lead to a loss of flavour with the result that people stop buying the product. To make sure this doesn’t happen our innovation teams and food technologists work hard to find the best formulations that continue to deliver the taste people prefer with less salt and without compromising the benefits that salt has in terms of shelf life and food safety.  


This has led to some creative solutions. For example we came up with the novel idea of using seaweed to help reduce the salt content of Batchelors Pasta ‘n’ Sauce Cheese & Broccoli. Surprisingly, seaweed, despite coming from the sea, is very low in salt and in fact contains micronutrients like iodine and iron which help boost other flavours. By using such a new idea, we managed to reduce salt levels by an impressive 25%. And as a result of our efforts, we’ve already achieved a level in these products that is below the salt targets set by the government for 2017 under the Public Health Responsibility Deal 



Case Study: Mr. Kipling aiming for less reds

We’ve been one of the first companies to commit voluntarily to the UK government’s recommended front of pack, colour coded nutrition labelling scheme - commonly known as traffic light labelling. 
Under the scheme, we include red, amber and green colour-coded icons on the front of our packs to help consumers understand whether a product is high, medium or low in fat, saturated fat, sugar or salt.  
The labelling helps consumers make the right choices for their diets but is also helping us focus our development efforts. By aligning our internal nutrition standards with the government’s scheme, where we can we’re targeting to have less ‘reds’ on our labels over time. 

This will always be a challenge for critical nutrients in some categories. For example, sugar will always be important to the taste,structure and texture of Mr Kipling cakes. But where we can, we’ve been turning ‘reds’ to ‘ambers’.

Our new Milkshake flavours of Mr Kipling snack packs are a good example where we’ve lowered the fat content compared to other snack pack slices to change the fat and saturated fat labelling icons from red to amber.

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