Love it or hate it, nutritional labelling is here to stay and is an increasingly important element to pleasing the consumer.
The awareness of salt levels, saturated fat and calorie intake is higher than ever before, partly as a means of meeting government targets to tackle obesity and health problems such as heart conditions and diabetes.
But flipping to the other side of the coin, customers are becoming more diet conscious thanks to the media. You only have to look at the influence that such programmes as Channel 4’s Secret Eaters has had on the UK population, as they relay the number of teaspoons of sugar in a glass of Coca-Cola.
Aldi, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have all come out in recent weeks cementing their commitment to providing customers with on-pack nutritional information. It has somewhat evolved into a battle of who can do it better among the supermarkets.
Tesco announced a hybrid labelling system combining colour-coding and Guideline Daily Amounts. But Sainsbury’s responded saying it had been using its own format for the past seven years.
One thing’s for certain, this topic predominantly revolves around supermarkets and plant-based manufacturers. Where does this leave the craft baker?
Okay, so maybe a nice cottage loaf or chocolate eclair from the local bakery on a Saturday is now just a weekend treat for some. If this is the case then it could be that people will not care as much about the amount of salt is in per slice of bread, or what percentage of unsaturated fat is present in whipped cream, according to their recommended daily intake.
But when we are trying to convince customers that they should be supporting and visiting their local craft bakeries on UK high streets, especially with the Portas Pilots scheme in full swing, surely we should be giving them more of reason to do so.
Only time will tell how this will pan out in the next five to ten years. But being savvy and providing this nutritional content could be just one saving grace for promoting the artisanal sector. Labelling is something customers do not currently expect from this industry, but one day they may just revolt.