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SPAR Austria initiates alliance in favour of a sugar-reduced diet

May 23, 2019 IN THE CATEGORY: Health, Responsible retailing

SPAR Austria has launched a sugar reduction initiative to draw attention to the increased consumption of sugar by Austrian consumers and to promote the removal of excess sugar from products.

In doing so, it has partnered with the Austrian Medical Association, the Austrian Obesity Society, the Special Institute for Preventive Cardiology and Nutrition (SIPCAN), the Austrian Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the Austrian Anti-Aging Society, as well as Rauch Fruit Juices and Berglandmilch Dairy Manufacturers. The alliance hopes to encourage all sectors of society to take action in favour of a sugar-reduced diet.

“Sugar reduction does not happen by itself,” said SPAR Austria CEO, Gerhard Drexel. “We urgently need efficient measures to reduce sugar consumption in our society. For this reason, we have introduced the sugar reduction initiative in cooperation with physicians and food producers – an alliance that is working to show that a turnaround in sugar consumption is possible. The alliance has also invited trade and industry partners to participate in the initiative and responsibly address this issue.”

Less sugar for better health

“In Austria, eight out of ten people currently consume more sugar than World Health Organisation recommendations. One reason for this is that many consumers are not aware of hidden sugar in the products they buy. To resolve this, both education and concrete industry/trade measures are required. If we don’t act today, many people risk becoming overweight or developing diabetes or cardiovascular diseases in the future,” said Friedrich Hoppichler, University Professor and Director of alliance partner, SIPCAN.

Industry initiatives

At the beginning of 2017, SPAR Austria began removing sugar from its own brand products. “We consciously aim to use less sugar in our own brand products to provide customers with healthier food options,” said Gerhard Drexel.

“It’s important that the consumer perception of sugar is sharpened. This means reducing sugar instead of replacing it with sugar substitutes – helping customers get used to foods that are not as sweet.”

SPAR Austria’s goal is to remove 1,000 tonnes of sugar from their own brand products by the end of 2020.

Alliance action plan

To really ensure a change, the alliance has formulated an action plan around sugar reduction, prevention, and health promotion – proposing concrete steps such as sugar reduction targets and expanded educational programmes at schools. It has also proposed the development of quality criteria for school lunches and increased reporting and information on nutrition. More information about the action plan can be found at:  www.zucker-raus-initiative.at.

Source: SPAR Austria

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About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954 and the current SPAR AG was created in 1970, when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company.

SPAR Austria’s gross retail sales growth reached 6.7 billion euro in 2017 from 1,566 stores including 757 operated by independent retailers. SPAR Austria is the largest private training organisation for young apprentices in their market.