Shreddies and Cheerios are due a health upgrade as part of Nestlé’s commitment to lowering sugar by 2018.
The company behind the brand, Cereal Partners Worldwide, has announced plans to reduce the sugar in its cereals by a further 10% over the next year.
The move will see around 225 million teaspoons of sugar removed from the nation’s diet.
Public Health England hailed it a “major step” but added there’s still a long way to go to drive down sugar consumption to recommended levels.
When a 2016 report by the World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) analysed cereals and discovered that 55% contained half the daily recommended intake of free sugars of a three-year-old in one serving, many were left shocked.
Since then, the government has been putting increasing pressure on food manufacturers to make products healthier to tackle childhood obesity.
Nestlé has since endeavoured to lower sugar in many of its products – including KitKats, which now contain “extra milk and cocoa”.
In the UK, the company has already reduced its average sugar content across breakfast cereals by 15% since 2010. Further changes will be achieved through a combination of recipe reformulation and increasing levels of whole grain.
Gharry Eccles, UK regional vice president of Cereal Partners Worldwide, which manufactures Nestlé cereal, said: “We believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day and our cereals provide vitamins, minerals and fibre to the diet. We also know that breakfast cereals can play a part in the efforts to reduce sugar consumption across the nation.
“Offering consumers healthier and tastier cereals is one of our top priorities and we are determined to make breakfast even better for everyone.
“We’ll take every opportunity to drive forward improvements across our range. For example, by the end of this year, our cereals will be free from artificial flavours and colours across our entire product portfolio. Making these improvements is crucial to us offering better choices for our consumers while retaining the same great taste.”
In response to the announcement, a spokesperson for campaign group Action On Sugar told HuffPost UK they welcomed the move and hope other manufacturers follow suit.
Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “This is a major step from Cereal Partners and a good sign of its commitment to reduce sugar in Nestle breakfast cereals.
“While there is a long way to go to drive sugar consumption down to recommended levels, we believe this announcement will encourage other companies to make significant reductions and produce healthier products to meet the government’s 20% target by 2020.”