Sugar reduction and its impact on intellectual property for food and drink businesses

With consumer and regulatory attention increasingly turning to the amount of sugar contained in food and drink, manufacturers are facing new challenges. There is no doubt that this issue will continue to be central to the industry.

The UK sugar tax for sweetened drinks is set to begin from April 2018 and Public Health England says the UK food industry should remove 200,000 tonnes of sugar from every day food per year by 2020. The subject is very much in the public eye and will remain so for the foreseeable future, especially with ongoing news reports about obesity related diabetes and increasing pressure on the National Health Service.

Food and drink producers have a number of options as to how to respond. Some might change the manufacturing process, such as replacing or reducing sugar volumes with coconut sugar or sweeteners. Others will introduce new ‘lite’ brands, typically marketed with different colouring and branding. Nestlé has responded by increasing the cocoa content of its KitKat product by 13 per cent in an effort to cut sugar.

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