Sugar reduction is the fine line between health and indulgent products. How do the bakers and lawmakers meet in the middle with a solution that fits everyone?
Speak to most bakers on the street and they will tell you that Public Health England is on the warpath with cracking down on sugar within bakery. The UK Government is putting pressure on brands and retailers to look to manufacturers to help them reduce sugar content across the board. Nearly every baker has been tasked with the challenge of reducing sugar in their bakes, but also making sure they keep that same sweet taste.
Many bakers will tell you that it isn’t the sugary products that are the problem, but the amount people consume, and the increasingly sedated lifestyles they lead. These cakes and biscuits are fine as part of a balanced diet, and also play a huge part in our emotional relationship with enjoying food. Let’s face it, what would a birthday be without cake? Sweet bakery plays a huge role in our indulgence and celebration.
Why do people buy sweet bakery?
If you look at some interesting statistics on why people buy sweet bakery, with 51% claiming the main reason is taste* and 31% claiming it’s because “it makes me happy”*. Sweet bakery is clearly an indulgent product that people look to for the sweet flavours. It’s also clear consumers know these products are unhealthy, with only 9% of people claiming they purchase for health benefits*.
There is also a clear demand for healthier products, with the rise of many new brands to the bakery world promoting sugar-free and low-calorie claims. At I.T.S. we work on both sides of the argument, with many traditional bakery products, but also helping bring sugar content down.
What I.T.S. is doing to tackle sugar reduction
We have seen the best results are when sugar still plays a part, but also reducing the content and using natural flavourings to help boost the sweetness. Mike Bagshaw, Founder of I.T.S., and former Chairmen of the British Society of Baking weighs in by saying “Sweet bakery will always need sugar, and that’s ok. No one is eating a doughnut because it’s healthy. I see the future of bakery having two lanes – one side will sit with your traditional indulgent bakery, and on the other will be your new health-based products. One doesn’t replace the other”.
Through Mike’s vision of the bakery market at I.T.S., we have developed a strong range of sugar reduction solutions. By using natural flavourings, we can help brands reduce sugar content by up to 50% in some applications. Flavouring solutions also can help with texture issues and binding. This range of natural flavourings enhances the sweetness flavour as sugar is removed and can be declared as a natural flavouring on the pack.
The future of sugar reduction
To answer the question if sugar reduction really is a baker’s worst nightmare, we’d say that sugar reduction should never have an overriding impact on an indulgent products taste. What is the point of eating a cake if it doesn’t taste good? The whole point of indulgence is great taste.
This is why sugar reduction needs to be done right, or not at all. We are working with many new brands in the healthy bakery space that are doing some fantastic things with flavour on low-calorie bakes.
Fancy entering the new healthy bakery category, or maybe you want to try take on the indulgent bakery space and make a healthy doughnut? We’ll help you give it go.
Get in touch to request samples of our sugar reduction range of natural flavourings.
*Innova Market Research