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Tell MNHQ what you think of the idea of us campaigning with BEAR for changes in food packaging

(92 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Oct-15 13:15:46

Three weeks ago, BEAR asked Mumsnetters for their views on a number of questions about what mattered to them when it came to buying snacks for their children’s lunchboxes. Over 900 of you responded (thank you!), and the research showed that 9 in 10 respondents are concerned about the amounts of highly processed ingredients in children’s fruit snacks, and that over half were unclear about what fruit snacks counted towards their child’s 5-a-day. What came through most strongly was that 3 in 4 want fruit juice concentrates to be declared on front-of-pack. BEAR's explanation of concentrates is that they 'are fruit juices that have been boiled at a high temperature down to a syrup, removing water and flavour, and then reconstituted later adding water and flavour packs, stripping out a lot of fibre and leaving more processed fruit sugars’.

The labelling of concentrates on front of pack is already compulsory on fruit juice packaging in the UK www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/192357/fruit-juice-si-20130425.pdf, but this doesn't apply to fruit snacks. BEAR wants to change that, and is lobbying the Department of Health (DoH) to address this. BEAR has asked if Mumsnet would like to co-sign the letter that will go to the DoH demanding this change.
So, we'd like you to let us know what you think. Should Mumsnet get behind a change in packaging that means that it’s compulsory for fruit concentrates to be declared on the front of pack?

Everyone who shares their opinions on this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £300 Love2Shop voucher!

Thanks
MNHQ

PotOfYoghurt Tue 27-Oct-15 13:29:52

I think that's a fantastic idea. I didn't actually know much about the process of concentrating juice and what it would mean for the nutritional value of the food it's added to. We go through a lot of the BEAR stuff in this house so fully supportive.

CopperPan Tue 27-Oct-15 19:40:55

I'm all in favour. I didn't know really know what fruit juice concentrates were and it's helpful to have an explanation. I think the more knowledge that parents have, the better really.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 27-Oct-15 19:42:30

I think that sounds sensible. I thought fruit concentrates were a far nicer thing than how they are described up there!

Definitely information worth knowing.

CheeseEMouse Tue 27-Oct-15 20:30:24

It seems odd to have a disparity between fruit juice and fruit snacks, so it would make sense to align the guidance.

voyager50 Tue 27-Oct-15 23:17:08

Sounds like good idea - it would help make things clearer for everyone and more people would become aware of what fruit concentrates are - I didn't know before.

SweetAdeline Tue 27-Oct-15 23:29:49

I'd be a bit cynical about a food labelling campaign from a food manufacturer.

CactusAnnie Tue 27-Oct-15 23:33:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

duckbilled Wed 28-Oct-15 11:40:15

Completely agree. The more information available the better!

Misscocopops Wed 28-Oct-15 12:08:01

Tbh I don't pay any attention to the labels on fruit juices so it wouldn't make a difference if it was on fruit bars. At the end of the day of its not fruit it's going to have added nasties. If it has a long shelf life, it has added nasties.
If you was that concerned you would just give your child fruit.

I don't think making a big song and dance about it will make people pay any more attention and I think it will just be a marketing campaign by bear trying to separate them from their competition.
The DoH surely has better agendas then putting even more disclaimers on foods which are stating the bleeding obvious in the Internet age if you care to look.

I didn't know the process of concentrate but I could tap it into goodly if I cared that much (clearly don't if it's already on fruit juices) but I do know unless it's fruit or veg in its raw form or cooked then it's he played with and stuffs been added.

MrsHathaway Wed 28-Oct-15 12:20:15

I'd be a bit cynical about a food labelling campaign from a food manufacturer.

And one whose USP is using natural ingredients. hmm

Will they also be pushing for the labelling dentists want about how absolutely awful their fruit bars are for children's teeth? Thought not.

MrPorky Wed 28-Oct-15 16:21:50

Yes let's have labelling on bear products that tells us exactly how bad they are for teeth and how badly the nutrients in the "all natural" ingredients have been damaged/destroyed by the manufacturing process.

RedKites Wed 28-Oct-15 16:33:04

I'd be happy for mumsnet to campaign against high sugar 'healthy' snacks marketed to children but I wouldn't want the campaign limited to fruit juice concentrates.

partialderivative Wed 28-Oct-15 17:43:07

You cannot use this survey as evidence to support any argument.

PallasCat Wed 28-Oct-15 18:26:44

Fully support this.

ahbollocks Wed 28-Oct-15 18:53:40

Support it but I am ckncerned about the quantity of sugars in dried fruit

heheheheheheh Wed 28-Oct-15 19:09:05

I think it would be much better to have a label on the front of each package stating how many teaspoons of sugar it contained. The stuff on fruit concentrates is still confusing and possibly misleading for most consumers.

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 28-Oct-15 19:11:37

Definitely. I want to know what goes into my children's snacks.

EasterRobin Wed 28-Oct-15 19:40:15

I think this issue is too specific alone to be supported by Mumsnet, particularly as it risks making MN seem aligned with a particular (paying) manufacturer's marketing interests rather than aligned with the best interests of children's diets in general. Is this really one of the biggest concerns regarding children's diets/snacks/food labelling or is there a bigger issue to be covered as well/instead?

Maiyakat Wed 28-Oct-15 21:58:42

Labelling fruit concentrates more clearly would be helpful. However I agree that I don't think it's the most important campaign more Mumsnet to be getting involved in!

BeeMyBaby Wed 28-Oct-15 22:11:34

Yes this would be helpful. My eldest DD is 5yo and I'm only now realising about these things so it would be great if there were clearer labelling on the fruit snacks as it's not information that you can easily come across.

heheheheheheh Wed 28-Oct-15 22:36:21

Actually I've just had a look at the nutrition info for Bear fruit yoyos. I think this campaign is shockingly disingenuous. So Bear don't use fruit concentrates, but instead use fruit highly processed in a different way to achieve the same result. And that result is snacks which are almost 40% sugar and stick to the teeth.

I HATE it when food manufacturers try to manipulate us like this. The information people need is on the label already: check the ingredients for additives and hydrogenated oils, check the nutritional info for %sugars. Over 15% is high. It doesn't matter how it's dressed up: sugar, agave syrup, glucose, honey, fruit concentrates or in the Bear yoyo case "gently baked" fruit purees, it's still highly processed sugary junk, and you're better giving your kids an apple or a banana.

heheheheheheh Wed 28-Oct-15 22:40:47

And while I'm on a roll with this, the other thing you need to look out for is packaging claiming a product is "100% natural", additive free, no artificial flavours or with added vitamins. Because only processed junk gets this kind of label. Fruit, veg, grains, meat, cheese: doesn't need this on the label.

anonooo Wed 28-Oct-15 22:48:43

Yes! for sure. I really think we need clarity on this.

EcclefechanTart Wed 28-Oct-15 22:59:28

Can't we just have total amount of sugar (fruit or otherwise) on the pack? That would make it clearer to judge between different products that may process sugar/fruit differently.

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