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We know the key to good health and wellbeing is to have a healthy balanced diet and the amount of sugar we consume is a common concern among Co-op members and customers alike. So, we’ve been working hard to reduce sugar in our Co-op branded products, particularly foods we know children enjoy.

To help you make an informed choice since 2006 we’ve had clear colour-coded traffic light nutritional labeling on the front of all Co-op branded products.

Nutritional Traffic Lights on Co-op food products

The more green lights you see, the healthier the product is for you.

You’ll find less sugar in Co-op branded products

We’ve been hard at work reducing sugar gradually so that you get used to the taste changing in Co-op branded products. So far, we’ve removed over 328 million teaspoons of sugar in Co-op branded products*. Some of the ways we’ve done this include:

  • reducing sugar in our breakfast cereals by an average of 11% across 15 varieties, including 25% in Co-op cornflakes
  • removing sugar from sorbets and yoghurts, our raspberry sorbet now contains 37% less and our mango and passionfruit yoghurt now contains 29% less
  • making sweets and desserts less sugary, like our strawberry lances, now with 10% less sugar and strawberry mousse now with 20% less
  • removing all added sugar in our Co-op high juice and juice drinks, we’re the first grocer to do this
  • decreasing sugar in our Co-op vanilla, banana, and chocolate flavoured milk
  • decreasing sugar in cooking sauces, moving to green traffic lights where we can
  • removing all added sugar from the tomato base in our chilled pizzas, they now contain only natural sugar found in tomatoes

Our work reducing sugar levels in Co-op branded breakfast cereals, sweets and confectionery, desserts and ice-creams all fall under the Public Health England sugar reduction programme. As well as removing sugar from Co-op branded products, we’ve put other measures in place, such as:

  • adding dental health warnings to Co-op branded sweets in 1985 and soft drinks in 1996
  • removing all children’s characters from Co-op branded packaging for products high in fat, sugar or salt in 2000 (with the exception of seasonal products)
  • launching a healthy snacking range in 2015
  • banning the sale of sweets at the checkout in 2016
  • We’re proud of our sugar reduction journey so far. We continue to remove sugar in Co-op products, ensuring we don’t affect taste or quality of products as we go along.

Bryonie Hollaert

Diet & Health Manager

*based on annual sales

Read more about diet and health at our Co-op;

Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. How about getting rid of palm oil in your fat content of products as well? Forget the sweeteners. They are chemically based and worse for you than sugar. Do your research Co-op!!

  2. Hi, we reduce sugar in Co-op branded products gradually over time so you can get used to the taste. If the product warrants a sweetener, we sometimes use them. ^Catherine

  3. I’d be interested to know what you’re using instead of sugar, sweeteners are just as bad for you (as well as the animals they test them on) and I avoid them like the plague.

  4. Hi. I’m afraid this hasn’t been published. ^Ian

  5. Is there a comprehensive list available of all products that have had their sugar reduced with sugar content percentage (before and after the reduction)? thanks

  6. You mention banning the sale of sweets at the checkouts, however in your store on Union Street, Aberdeen, sweets and other unhealthy products line the checkout lane leading to the tills….

  7. Can we make branding ‘Diabetes Aware’ by highlighting sugars and carbs???

  8. It is good to hear that we are making progress with many different products. Have you considered putting on packs the daily recommended intake in grams ? It would then be easier to compare that with what one eats in a day. This might be easier to understand than percentages.
    If there isn’t any room for this on packs, then leaflets available in store would be helpful.


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