Features

Green light to set minimum pricing for alcohol

The tonic water has been on ice for some time, but the Scottish government has finally been given the go-ahead to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol. The UK Supreme Court this week ruled that the measure – passed overwhelmingly by the Scottish Parliament in 2012 – does not breach European law and can now…
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McDonald’s joins the meat-free party

McDonald’s has made a splash on social-media recently by trialling its first vegan burger, the McVegan. The initial results are “very promising” a spokeswoman told the BBC, and the product could be rolled out nationwide – albeit in Finland. Still, the trial is part of a growing trend for food and drink producers and retailers…
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Hard time for alcohol with soft drinks set to surge

Almost half of consumers (45%) are set to buy more soft drinks at Christmas with more than one in five (21%) planning to drink less alcohol. Some 37% also planning to spend more on soft drinks than previous festive seasons, increasing to over half (56%) of consumers aged 16-24. The research, conducted by Censuswide UK…
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Hospitals put squeeze on super-size

Hospitals have been ordered to stop selling super-size chocolate bars and “grab bags” of sugary snacks. In the next phase of its plan to fight obesity, diabetes and tooth-decay, NHS England announced a 250-calorie limit on confectionary sold in hospital canteens, stores, vending machines and other outlets. In 2018/19, health services will also receive financial…
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Low- or no-sugar

When it comes to healthy eating, low-sugar and sugar-free are far and away the qualities UK consumers look for in a product. GfK asked 23,000 consumers online in 17 countries how important certain factors are, from a given list, when deciding what to eat or drink. In the UK, 42% said low-sugar or sugar-free is…
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Foods labelled as ‘meals’ rather than ‘snacks’ prevent overeating

Marketing food as a “snack” leads to increased consumption and continued overeating, according to new research published in the journal Appetite. Eighty people were asked to eat a pasta pot. This was either labelled as a “snack” or “meal”, or presented as a snack (eaten standing up from a plastic pot with a plastic fork)…
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Sugaring the Brexit pill

Britain’s sugar policy is a contradictory mess – but leaving the EU is a chance to bring agriculture and health goals into line. By Professor Jack Winkler. The UK government is drowning in dissent, divisions, plots and power struggles. The conflicts that receive most media attention focus on the prime minister and Brexit. But the…
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Restaurants fuelling obesity with sugar-laden kids meals

Puddings with three times the daily sugar allowance and poor availability of fruit and veg are examples of “continuing poor practice” amongst many high street restaurants when it comes to children’s meals. Using information from secret diner families, the Soil Association has ranked 25 of the UK’s most popular chains based on the food they…
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M&S: the big sustainability push

With single-use packaging in politicians’ sights, the retailer’s circular economy lead talks to Footprint about plans to cut waste to zero. By David Burrows. It’s 14 months since Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall launched his offensive against the coffee shop chains and single-use coffee cups. Starbucks, Costa and Nero bore the brunt of the celebrity chef’s ire, but…
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Andrew Stephen: my mission to bring sustainable food to life

The head of the Sustainable Restaurant Association recently celebrated a year in the role. He talks to Nick Hughes about the challenges and opportunities in helping restaurants achieve their sustainability goals. “What is a sustainable restaurant?” Andrew Stephen pauses for a moment while he ponders his own question.  It may seem an odd point for…
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