Cereal bar manufacturers, including Kellogg, have come under fire from UK consumer group Which? in a report that claims the image of the product as a healthy snack is a “myth”.
The Which? report, which tested cereal bars from manufacturers including Kellogg, Mars Inc and Honey Monster Foods, found all but one of the 30 bars it analysed were high in sugar. More than half contained over 30% sugar, it noted.
The report highlighted Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Elevensies as containing nearly four teaspoons’ worth of sugar (18g), more than was found in a small 150ml can of cola (15.9g) and 20% of the recommended daily allowance.
Which? claimed a third of Mars’ Tracker Roasted Nut bar was “fat”. It acknowledged some of the fat comes from peanuts and hazelnuts that provided some nutritional benefit but said it also contained vegetable fat and “harmful” hydrogenated fats.
Monster Puffs Cereal & Milk Chocolate Bar, a line manufactured by Raisio-owned Honey Monster Foods, was highlighted as containing 43.5% sugar, the equivalent of more than two teaspoons of sugar.
“People often choose cereal bars in the belief they’re healthier than chocolate or biscuits but our research shows this can be a myth,” said Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd. “With high levels of sugar and saturated fat in some of these products they should be on the sweet counter not marketed as health foods.”
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Which? said it was calling on manufacturers to be clearer about how much sugar, fat and calories are in the cereal bars.
“We want all foods to have traffic light colour coding system so people can see easily what they’re eating and giving to their children,” Lloyd said.
Click here to view the full report.