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CHANGING WITH THE TIMES? – Reformulation can help food brands navigate the UK’s HFSS legislation. But it’s not without risk.

FastTrack | 60-second read

Reformulation, then, can be a risky business. But so, too, can failing to change with the times.

From April 2022, in-store promotion, and placement of HFSS (High in fat, sugar, and salt) products will be dramatically restricted.

Like the legislation, or loathe it, one of the simplest ways for manufacturers to respond positively is reformulation – reducing the levels of fat, sugar, and salt so the products are not categorised as HFSS.

According to The Grocer, Kellogg’s has already decided to reformulate its entire children’s cereal range, removing 10% of the sugar. And many leading companies plan to follow suit.

But history shows this approach can be high risk.

As David Wright, Senior Marketing Effectiveness Consultant at research firm IRI, points out, in a recent essay, reformulations by soft-drinks companies in response to the ‘sugar tax’ resulted in a “huge customer backlash, largely due to poor communication to changes in recipes.” Brands lost market share as a result.

Reformulation, then, can be a risky business. But so, too, can failing to change with the times.

Extract from Human Capital – Drayton’s business magazine.

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