Up & Go breakfast drink maker Sanitarium has rejected suggestions its products are unhealthy.

The company hit out at comments from Australian consumer watchdog Choice portraying breakfast drinks as high-sugar products with poor nutritional credentials.

“Consumers shouldn’t be fooled into thinking liquid breakfasts are high in fibre or a good source of protein,” Choice spokesperson Tom Godfrey insisted earlier this week. “Shonky claims on liquid breakfasts such as ‘high in fibre’, ‘fibre for digestive health’, and ‘goodness of three grains’ is a cause for concern.”

Responding to the consumer campaign launched by Choice, Sanitarium insisted its breakfast drinks – which have been on the market since 1998 – are a good option for time-poor consumers who might otherwise skip breakfast altogether.

“Sanitarium recognises that many time poor consumers often miss sitting down for breakfast which is why Up&Go has been formulated to contain the same quantity of energy, protein and fibre as a serve of Weet-Bix and milk,” Michelle Reid, APD and nutritionist for Sanitarium, said.

Reid emphasised nutritional claims made in Australia and New Zealand are regulated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and set out in the ANZ Food Standards Code or established by industry Codes of Practice that are recognised by FSANZ. “Sanitarium Up & Go fibre content of 3.8 grams is well in excess of the code of practice requirement to enable a “high fibre” content claim,” she stressed.

For our recent news and insight on the breakfast drink sector, including Kellogg ‘s launch this week of its own product in the US this week, click here.