It’s difficult to open the papers without reading another story about the growing obesity problem in the UK. The good news is that the latest data from TNS suggests people are looking to improve their diets, with more people choosing foods for health reasons.

Many manufacturers have already responded by offering reduced fat, reduced salt and reduced sugar foods. The sector is also committed to helping people make informed choices by giving more information about the nutrients a particular food contains.

Over 85% of the BCCCA sector has committed Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs). GDAs help people understand how much or how little of a particular nutrient they should be trying to eat and are also an easy way to compare foods.

The other trend TNS identifies is indulgence with people looking to treat themselves once in a while. So while there is a market for lower fat biscuits there is also a market for shortbread made with butter and sugar. The TNS data demonstrates that the BCCCA sector is very well understood by consumers, with people clearly understanding if a food is indulgent.

In order to facilitate industry best practice the BCCCA holds a Technology Conference with presentations from industry experts. The next conference will continue the focus on consumer health and will consider how the baking sector responds to the sustainability debate.