Healthy Products & Consumers

In this project available expertise on sugar reformulation will be made easily applicable for the industry and new consumers insights towards sugar reduction will be developed.

The project is a follow up of a project called ‘Vervolgproject-Actieteam-Verbetering-Productsamenstelling’. The project has multiple goals and focusses on the product category bakery and confectionery, with products such as biscuits, cakes and bars. A sugar reformulation support tool (Reformulation tool) will be developed that will make available expertise on sugar reformulation easily applicable for the industry. Furthermore, consumer acceptance of sugar reformulated products will be studied.

WP1: Support platform for Food Formulation

A support system (Reformulation tool) will be built for sugar reduction. By combining technological, nutritional and health information, including Nutri-Score, with state-of-the-art IT expertise, complex information will be presented in a simple, attractive and accessible way. This makes it possible to make existing knowledge on sugar and sugar substitute ingredients accessible to the industry in an efficient and rapid manner. So, when replacing sugars, how can for example the fibre content, laxative effects, texture, sweetness and nutritional values of the final product be taken into account? During the project, together with FNLI and VBZ we will scout for SME partners who would like to team-up with the WFBR experts and showcase to the industry the power of the newly developed Reformulation tool. In the future, the scope of the tool can be extended towards additional product categories.

WP2: Psychological principles for effective sugar reduction and fibre enrichment

Food choice is largely driven by habits, and habits are difficult to break. This fact hampers the transition of current food choices into a new and preferably more healthy direction. This could potentially lead to market failure of the healthier product options. The results of a number of consumer studies into the impact of sugar reduction on consumer choices, sweetness perception and the amount consumed of a product will be studied. Aspects such as packaging properties, labeling (including the Nutri-Score), distribution of sugar and portion size are investigated.

WP3: Workshops, dissemination and project support

Just like in the former project, all generated knowledge will be disseminated to industry by means of a workshop and popular publications. In this workshop the latest insights in bakery and confectionery sugar reformulation will be provided, based on scientific principles and knowledge of sugar functionality and reformulation. The Reformulation tool to apply this knowledge to the industry will be demonstrated. Furthermore, insights from a number of consumer studies in relation to sugar reduction are also explained, which can contribute to a greater success of sugar-reduced products on the supermarket shelf. The Nutri-Score will be discussed in both the Reformulation tool and the consumer studies.

Indented Impact

The insights gained in this project can be used by industry to facilitate the development of sugar reformulated products that fit better in existing and new habits, resulting in reduced costs due to lower market failures. The newly reformulated products will allow consumers to make the healthier choice the easy choice, which will result in improved public health.