UPDATE: UK: Kellogg MD says sales potential will drive reformulation
Kellogg's launch of Choc N' Roll follows Chocolate Weetabix last month
Kellogg, which today (4 August) announced plans to cut the sugar in its Coco Pops stable in the UK, will look to make further moves on the ingredient depending on the potential for sales, the cereal giant has told just-food.
The US food group is lowering the level of sugar in its Coco Pops brands by 15% by the middle of next year. It has launched Choc N' Roll, a healthier addition to the portfolio that will be aimed at children.
Greg Peterson, MD of Kellogg UK, said consumers had driven the changes to the Coco Pops range, which also includes cutting the amount of sugar per serving to one-and-a-half teaspoons and removing artificial sweeteners.
Speaking to just-food after the changes were announced, Peterson was coy about whether Kellogg had any plans to lower the sugar in other cereal products. However, he said any more changes had to guarantee "we can take pallets with us".
"I can't talk to you about stuff that hasn't been announced yet. What I mentioned was that we have a range of products under the Coco Pops brand and we are looking that by the end of this year that we have taken another one of those products to meet the FSA guidelines. We'll go further on sugar as long as we can take pallets with us," Peterson said.
"That's the key. It's relatively to easy to make a food that's low in salt, low in sugar and high in fibre. Making it taste good: there's the art."
Peterson added: "That's why stuff likes this takes so long to get through. It's quite an iterative process. You work on something, it fails but you learn something from it. You try again and you slowly narrow in on it. That takes time and that takes money. We have a long-term commitment and we believe this is the right thing to do."
In launching Choc N' Roll, Kellogg said it was providing parents with more choice and giving them the opportunity to give their children a healthier chocolate cereal for breakfast, a meal that, according to the company, one in six kids skip each day in the UK.
Last month, Kellogg's main rival in branded cereals, Weetabix, launched Chocolate Weetabix, a product that, like Choc N' Roll, met the Food Standards Agency's Nutrient Profile guidelines and can be legally advertised to children on TV.
Asked whether he was frustrated that Weetabix had launched its product first, Peterson said he welcomed any moves to try to grow the chocolate cereal segment.
"That didn't frustrate me at all. We're very interested in the cereal category growing and we're very interested in growing within the cereal category. News coming into the category is good. It keeps consumers interested," Peterson said.
"If they're going to help build the chocolate segment of the market, it's fine with me."
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