A new survey has revealed that 80% of parents regularly look for low or no-sugar products for their families, yet 30% are unable to find these products in store.
The research by Netmums and Sugarwise, the international authority for sugar claims on foods, found that healthy lunchbox snacks were the most difficult items for parents (38%) to find in supermarkets, followed by low/no sugar breakfast cereal (17%), low/no sugar pasta sauce (also 17%), and low/no sugar desserts (15%).
The online survey of 577 Netmums users was undertaken to coincide with a Westminster Sugar Summit on Wednesday, chaired by Keith Vaz MP, who is also chair of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes.
Sweet biscuits was the most popular choice when respondents were asked ‘which foods would you like to see low sugar versions of at your local supermarket’, followed by sweetened or flavoured yogurt and then sweet breakfast cereals.
The Netmums/Sugarwise survey also revealed 25% of parents would be willing to spend more on low sugar foods if they were available and 40% agreed they would be happy to pay more for healthy option foods as long as the products taste good.
Netmums editor in chief, Anne-Marie O’Leary, said: “Childhood obesity is a national concern and Netmums users are increasingly worried about the levels of sugar consumption by children. Yet, our survey shows despite consumer demand for more low sugar formulations and the willingness to pay more if needed for low sugar options, retailers are failing to make these products available on shelf.”
A separate Mumsnet survey, conducted ahead of C-Store’s Soft Drinks Summit in April, found that 60% of mums said they would switch to a cheaper no- or lower-sugar version of their children’s regular soft drink if it went up in price due to the soft drinks levy, which comes into effect in April 2018.