Danone has down played media reports that it has submitted proposals to the French authorities to cut sugar levels in its products by 25% over the next ten years, instead suggesting that such moves must be implemented gradually to gain consumer acceptance.

"While we are committed to gradually cutting back on sugar, it's impossible at this point in time to put an exact figure on the scale of the reduction, whatever the product," a company spokeswoman told just-food.
 
She added that between 1999 and 2006 Danone has reduced sugar levels in its biscuit products by 9%.
 
"There are technological and gustatory factors to take into account before going further in this approach as well as addressing cost and safety issues too. Proceeding stage by stage is essential in order to offer consumers products that are not too far removed from their tastes. What is more, these reductions should be part of a product by product, benefit/risk analysis and which does not stick rigidly to the "double zero" notion - 0 sugar and 0 fat."
 
The spokeswoman said that Danone had learnt its lesson from the commercial failure of the "light" version of its Danette cream dessert brand, which contained 25% less sugar than the standard version.  "Below a certain sugar level, the consumer simply rejects a product."