The scale of PHE’s latest campaign to combat obesity is ambitious, but it comes at a time when reformulation is already a major concern for many manufacturers. Last year’s focus on reducing sugar intake was a game changer for the industry and arrived hot on the heels of similar campaigns around salt and saturated fat.
But while so-called ‘shrinkification’ may appear an easy option, there is limited evidence to suggest that smaller portion sizes actually work in terms of improving eating habits; meaning its suitability as a long-term strategy is questionable. Investment in reformulation, however, is proving successful for a growing number of manufacturers and this is where our specialist knowledge is proving invaluable; helping to improve the nutritional profile of products, without compromising consumer expectations.
“It’s no easy task. Translating technical, regulatory and consumer demands into a commercially viable solution is a difficult balancing act – but we have the specialist expertise and capabilities to find a solution which works on every level,” says Carole Bingley, Technical Specialist – RSSL Product and Ingredient Innovation.
The product development consultancy works closely with suppliers and manufacturers to ensure changes to formulations not only meet relevant regulations, but also take into account a range of functional characteristics such as physical structure, texture, stability and shelf life as well as flavour and other sensory characteristics.
“Ultimately, winning approval from government and health bodies is only part of the reformulation story – consumer acceptance is key. The success of any product development will be short lived if consumers don’t buy into the concept. Getting the right advice before embarking on a project will help to ensure the full implications of any changes are fully evaluated, tested and technically achievable,” adds Carole.