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Inside Out on Monday 15th February follows a Cambridge mum and sugar labelling campaigner who is on a mission to launch a certification scheme, like Fairtrade, for truly no added sugar products. There's new guidance on the different types of sugar we should and shouldn't eat but nothing on our food labels. Rend finds products that satisfy that guidance, sets up her scheme, teams up with Cambridge University and gets Tesco on board to develop her quality mark. The program features Tesco Group Quality Director Tim Smith, the new brand Tesco developed and products going onto shelves with it.
Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport which was Jamie Oliver and Jimmy's old school is also being featured on the show with children sampling no added sugar products, including the JimJams Sugarwise certified chocolate spread available at Ocado, WheyHey Icecream, Sainsbury's Milk and Plain chocolates and Sainsbury's No Added Sugar marshmallows.
Rend's vision is for Cambridge to lead the way in opening up lower sugar choices, working with manufacturers, product developers and leading chefs to develop an ecosystem that presents a road map for the future. I see a world where people in a typical cafe eat no added sugar baked beans, children are offered a Sugarwise chocolate spread for sugar free pancakes as the norm rather than exception; and food choices including dessert that are all within the recommended guidelines on sugar as a percentage of total calorie intake, are available in every place where food is served or sold. I can't do it for the world or even the UK as a whole but I want to get everyone on board in Cambridge.
We're going to start with a survey of the City leading businesses, restaurants, schools and nurseries and find out what it'll take to see Sugarwise signs appearing everywhere. What the Sugarwise sign means is that the food option is within the recommended guidelines of no more than 5% of its energy coming from free sugars, which is not information you get on the label. Cambridge University scientists will assess which products are compliant and which menu items are eligible to carry the signs. We are going to be having road shows twice a week in the City so that people can sample some Sugarwise goodies and learn more about the program. We will be able to use this case to test our theory that if options within guidelines are made available in fun foods, and are clearly labelled, and it's made easy and cost effective for venues and retailers to stock them; and people to identify them, this'll make a huge difference to people's sugar consumption.
The lack of availability of options within the recommendations on sugar is I believe a huge but barely discussed factor in why people struggle to stick to the guidelines. While they might be offered a piece of fruit instead of a biscuit, sometimes they'd rather have a biscuit - if they have a choice within their biscuits and other foods they love then I think there's the opportunity for easy swaps and real change. As it stands, they are hardly ever given that choice. Let's see what we can do in one City to change that. I'd like all the stakeholders in the City to come on board with this, and I'd like anyone who's developed a no added sugar product to come forward for us to consider and showcase it. If it qualifies for the Sugarwise mark then it can give all restaurants and cafes an easy means of getting Sugarwise options onto their menus. The Sugarwise logo and labelling was developed by the best of the best within Tesco.
Simon Brady, who was brand leader at Tesco but left the big retailer in January, told the Cambridge mum: “This is a really strong mark and we would be happy to put this on our packaging as appropriate in order to support your objectives.” Coming from the person leading the $2bn Finest Brand, Health Brands and Tesco's entire Christmas marketing Campaign him saying this means a lot to Rend.
"Simon is a marketing genius. He delivered amazing results for Tesco over Christmas. I am so grateful he directed development of this logo within Tesco, I feel so lucky to have met him, especially as I caught him in the nick of time. He has shown great interest in this project and we are staying in touch"
Caroline Abel, Design Manager for all the major Tesco brands including Free From, Goodness, and Healthy Living, says the logo: “communicates the balanced sugars message really simply.” Adding “The combination of the strong colours with the soft curves makes it impactful and trusted yet approachable.”
"The development work that the Tesco team has put into the logo and feedback on how the certification might fit into the many regulatory and legal requirements of EU food labelling is not something we could have afforded to buy, had it even been on sale."
"I am glad that Tim Smith has been leading the way in making his support known for increasing the availability of lower sugar options across not just soft drinks but other food categories. We would like all retailers to sign up to the Sugarwise guarantee and stock products within the guidelines in at least 8 of the 12 categories children normally consume sugar. We hope to be seeing products appear on Tesco shelves in the forthcoming months that either are certified Sugarwise or could be accredited."
Rend Platings also teamed up with Cambridge University. She received training and support from Judge Business School which helped her to develop her proposal to the Food Industry. She secured a place in the Social Incubator East program that provide her team with fully funded offices and business support. She teamed up with Cambridge University researchers to further refine her scheme and they created the world's first free sugars standards.
The mark was developed for Rend using Tesco's best in house marketers and brand managers along with two award winning design houses.
Watch it at 7.30pm BBC1 Cambridgeshire on 15th February
Sugarwise is a certification scheme, like Fairtrade, but for truly no added sugar products. There's new guidance on the different types of sugar we should and shouldn't eat but nothing on our food labels.
The scheme works with manufacturers to promote lower sugar products, and similar to Fairtrade certification, help customers quickly identify them.