Sugar…..Oooooh honey, honey


When headed to Westminster committee room 10, having been airport security searched and walked past the House of Lords where a Brexit debate was ongoing, the one event you would not expect to attend is a summit on sugar. However that was what we attended and how insightful it was.

Run by ‘Sugarwise’, the summit was all about raising awareness of the growing numbers of diabetic people in the United Kingdom. In attendance were journalists, doctors, nutritionists and manufacturers. (Oh and some funky people from an advertising agency). The event consisted of a panel of expert speakers talking about how they are making a conscious effort to lower the levels of sugar intake in their specific field of expertise. In the modern day we live in there are endless options for those who do not wish to have sugar in their diet. With items such as sugar-free chocolate, non-gluten protein bars and chocolate consisting of fruit extracts (to name a few) available, it is so easy to be super-duper healthy.

Where ‘Sugarwise’ are making an intensified effort to make these types of foods noticed by the independent buyer, is by creating a kitemark that will noticed by all. It will suggest the product is low in sugar, carbs, free of sugar and reduced in sugar. The different types of kitemarks include:

  • Free from added sugars – less than 5% calories from free sugars and no added sugar
  • Low sugar – 5g sugar or less per 100g in solid food, and 2.5g or less per 100ml in drinks
  • Naturally free from added sugars – Products with only naturally occurring sugars, such as whole fruit
  • Reduced sugar – sugars 30% less than similar products

The Sugarwise test enables scientists to differentiate between a product’s total sugar content and the amount that’s been added. It is the only method to assess free sugars using laboratory testing and not relying on manufacturer supplied composition data. The certification is said to inspire trust, demonstrates assessment and reinforce firms to commit to sugar. With the added sugar tax on drinks, for some firms, becoming healthier is something they have had to do. On that topic, an interesting point raised by the panel was that their objective over the next 15 – 20 years is to have a sugar tax introduced in foods. Food for thought (Ha).

Since launching in March this year, Sugarwise has certified over 250 products with some including Zoot chocolate, Masons Baked Beans, WheyHey and Fruit Heroes. One certified company that caught our attention in particular was ‘Hey Like Wow Drinks’. A fresh vitamin drink, where the drinker must push the cap to drop a vitamin into a bottle of water and shake it up to create a fresh, fruity, sugar free vitamin drink. What a world we live in.

We had a brilliant time at the sugar summit and learnt a lot, saw the House of Lords from the inside and got loads of delicious (sugar free) freebies. A good afternoon all together.