SPAR Austria removes one billion sugar cubes in own brands

May 8, 2024 IN THE CATEGORY: Health, Responsible retailing

By the end of 2023, SPAR Austria has removed over 3,800 tonnes of sugar (equivalent to one billion sugar cubes) from 350 SPAR Own Brand products since the launch of its 'zucker-raus-initiative', an industry-wide sugar reduction alliance initiated in 2019. Beverage products account for the largest share at 38%.

“For SPAR Austria, the gradual reduction in sugar content does not entail replacing it with sweeteners but rather emphasising the natural taste of food. For instance, products like SPAR’s 500-gram fruit yoghurts have undergone recipe revisions three times, resulting in a continuous reduction in sugar content”, said Markus Kaser, SPAR Austria Board Director.

Sugar reduction focus

In addition to focusing on sugar reduction, SPAR Austria also investigates the use of sweeteners, some of which are known to potentially pose health risks. For this reason, SPAR Austria has already removed the sweetener aspartame and started labelling its first products with the “Aspartame-Free” pictogram on the packaging. This principle is also taken seriously in product development. A standout example of sugar reduction and sweetener-free products is SPAR Austria’s introduction of the first spray cream without added sugar or sweeteners in Austria, SPAR’s ready-to-spray whipped cream.

Sugar consumption

High sugar consumption in society remains a concern. The World Health Organisation recommends a daily intake of no more than 25 to a maximum of 50 grams of sugar for the average adult, roughly equivalent to six to ten teaspoons. This recommended intake is lower for children and varies based on gender and age.

In 2021/2022, Austria’s per capita sugar consumption was just under 29.1 kg per year, translating to under 80 grams daily. While this figure has declined, it still highlights that sugar consumption in Austria remains too high.

Sugar reduction initiative

2024 marks the fifth anniversary of the sugar reduction initiative launched by SPAR Austria in 2019. Since its inception, significant milestones in sugar reduction have been achieved. With over 50 partners in the alliance, the effort to reduce sugar content in food is continuously promoted throughout the industry. SPAR Austria has consistently pursued sugar reduction in its own brands.

Source: SPAR Austria

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About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company. With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has developed the brand in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy.