Waitrose has cut sugar levels in some of its desserts, including pies and puddings, as part of its ongoing sugar reformulation programme.

The retailer has reduced the sugar in fifteen of its own-label mid-tier chilled desserts by an average of 14% - which it said was the equivalent of more than 9.6 million teaspoons of sugar per year.

Waitrose added that a team of chefs had developed the new recipes to ensure there was “no compromise on taste, quality or price”. Among the reformulated products are mixed berry trifle, apple pie, bread and butter pudding and lemon mousse.

News of the move comes in the same week Finsbury Food Group revealed it had cut sugar across its Disney cakes range.

“We all like a sweet treat now and then but it’s important to keep an eye on your sugar intake,” said Waitrose senior nutritionist Dr Emma Williams

“We’ve been working hard to ensure our shoppers can make lower sugar choices when enjoying desserts, without compromising on taste or quality. Sugar reduction is a key part of our overall approach to making continuous nutritional improvements to the food and drink we sell.”

Waitrose has already cut sugar from cereals, chilled juices, yoghurts, soups, cordials and fizzy drinks in recent years as part of Public Health England’s (PHE) sugar reduction programme.

In March, PHE announced specific sugar reduction targets for various types of food. This includes average and maximum calorie or portion size guidelines for products likely to be consumed by an individual at one time. These 2020 sugar targets include:

  •     Biscuits: 26.2g per 100g
  •     Cakes: 27.9g per 100g
  •     Morning goods: 10.0g per 100g
  •     Puddings: 15.1g per 100g

PHE has since widened its focus from sugar to total calorie intake, a move that puts products including sandwiches, pizza and savoury snacks in its sights.