Sustainability - Wellbeing - Sugar

Responsibility / Wellbeing

Sugar

Sugar is a group of sweet substances which is a source of fuel for the body. Regarded as safe and versatile, sugar adds sweetness, texture, flavour, colour and preservative properties to many different foods and beverages.

The excessive intake of sugars is associated with unhealthy diets and with an increased risk of certain illnesses and conditions and public health authorities now recommend an overall reduction in one’s intake of sugars. A large number of consumers nowadays seek to manage their sugar intake, as part of a healthier lifestyle and a more balanced diet.

As a marketing-led organisation, our Group listens carefully to consumers and is attentive to evolving preferences and trends. Farsons’ extensive range of products across both food and beverage categories includes many different options which allow consumers to select products which are relevant to their own needs and their family’s requirements. This applies to both our own brands as well as brands which we import and distribute in Malta.

Our own flagship carbonated beverage Kinnie, is available in a number of variants which include, besides Kinnie regular, the no-sugar, zero-calorie Diet Kinnie and Kinnie Zest, and the latest variant launched, mid-cal version, Kinnie Vita, which offers the same great Kinnie taste and the benefit of half the sugar and calories of a regular soft drink. Moreover, it contains no artificial sweeteners, as it is naturally sweetened using a blend of sugar and stevia leaf extract.

In February 2017, the Maltese soft drinks industry announced its commitment to reduce added sugars in its products by 10% by 2020, contributing to the delivery of the recent European soft drink industry (UNESDA) 10% sugar reduction commitment.

This initiative, supported by PepsiCo in Malta and local bottling partner Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, is in response to changing consumer preferences regarding sugar intake and the calls from Member States and the European Commission for a coordinated approach to reformulation and sugar reduction.

In soft drinks, reduction in added sugars leads directly to reduced calories. To reach its ambitious target, the soft drinks sector in Malta, including brands such as Pepsi and Kinnie, will take the following actions:

  • Reformulate existing products including the use of low calorie sweeteners.
  • Innovate to introduce new products with no or reduced sugar and low calorie sweeteners.
  • Increase the availability of smaller pack sizes to allow portion control and moderation
  • Invest in the promotion of drinks with reduced or no sugar to educate and actively encourage consumer choice towards low and no calorie products.
  • Commit to monitor the progress of added sugar reduction achieved using independent external research and to share this with stakeholders.



UNESDA as well as the Maltese soft drinks sector, will monitor its compliance with the new commitment through independent, third party auditors.

The soft drinks industry is the first sector to come forward with a commitment in response to the EU’s general 10% added sugar reduction target. The industry is already actively working with local governments and stakeholders across Europe in driving sugar reduction and looks forward to continuing these efforts tailored to local situations and needs.

The full announcement is available here: http://www.farsons.com/en/news-detail/maltese-soft-drinks-industry-commits-to-reduce-added-sugars-by-10-by-2020.