Princes, the UK-based food and drinks group owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp., has announced plans to reduce sugar in its Fruit Fillings products and to swap syrup for juice in some of its canned fruits.

The company said the introduction of “new and improved recipes introduced across the Fruit Fillings range” will see the sugar content reduced by “up to 25%” during this year.

Princes is also launching Princes Mango Slices with Juice to signal “the start of a range-wide shift” in its canned fruit products. Princes said the new product “will ultimately replace the syrup-based equivalent, starting in Morrisons and Waitrose”.

However, marketing director Neil Brownbill told just-food there were no plans to replace syrup for juice in all of its canned fruit lines.

Brownbill said: “Looking at ways to reduce sugar levels across our canned fruit range is an important project for Princes in 2017 and we will continue to launch juice-based NPD in line with the trend towards healthy eating and to appeal to younger consumers.

“That said, canned fruit with syrup does cater for a core consumer need and we are keen to avoid excluding those shoppers who prefer its taste. We will keep a selection of syrup-based SKUs in the range but are looking at recipe improvements to cut the sugar content where we can.”

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According to Princes, UK research by YouGov indicates 63% of canned fruit shoppers “now prefer to buy juice-based products as part of a balanced diet”.