Reformulation has resulted in overall salt reductions of up to 50% in many of the UK’s most popular brands of cakes and biscuits since February 2006. And the sector has also been proactive on reducing artificial colours and trans fats, but sat fat reduction remains a challenge.

All this has been achieved at huge cost to manufacturers and without compromising the taste or quality of many well-loved products. But the government needs to be realistic about the pace at which the industry can keep delivering new innovations, says Denise Crane, technical director at the Biscuit Cake Chocolate & Confectionery Sector Group. "It is particularly challenging for suppliers to achieve further salt reductions in their products while also making changes to their nutritional profile, such as reducing saturated fat."

More lobbying in Europe is still needed, she adds. "We were pleased to see MEPs have backed the approach to GDA labelling as the best way to help consumers make informed choices about the food they buy. But there are still plenty of technical issues to be addressed, such as the derogation from net quantity indication for products normally sold by number, including cakes." Equipment for weight verification of these products would be very expensive to introduce, she says.

Cake in the news

Bakels has revamped its cake mixes range with new and improved recipes: sponge mix, chocolate sponge mix, muffin & crème cake, chocolate muffin & crème cake, Genoese mix, Madeira mix and fruit cake. All are sold in 12.5kg bags.

Delice de France has launched a range of whoopie pies into foodservice. Available in three mixed cases of 2x10 units, they include traditional classic whoopies, in Belgian chocolate or Victoria sponge varieties; strawberry and lemon whoopies; and mallow and chocolate whoopies. The whoopies come in 80-95g individually wrapped packs.

Vandemoortele is marketing preportioned Banquet D’Or thaw-and-serve traybakes. Chocolate and coconut sponge and chocolate melt-down cake are the most popular sellers. Other lines include a toffee and hazelnut sponge and a bread and butter pudding.