Thursday, September 24, 2020

Massive hidden sugars uncovered in pre-mixed spirits

Ready-to-drink pre-mixed spirits sold in major UK retailers are “unnecessarily high” in hidden sugar and calories, a new product survey has discovered.

According to Action on Sugar, these drinks should be forced to reformulate immediately to the agreed criterion set by government in the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) or pay the fine.

202 ready-to-drink (RTD) alcoholic beverages sold in-store and online were surveyed by Action on Sugar. Of the 154 products collected in-store, nutrition information on pack was “shockingly low” making it difficult for consumers to know exactly what they are drinking.

41% in-store had some form of nutrition information on pack, while on 9% had sugar information on pack.

Due to the lack of information provided on pack in-store, Action on Sugar commissioned independent laboratory analysis of 21 products which has exposed for the first time the variation of sugar and calories to the public.

Many drinks in the ‘traditional premixed cocktails’ category were “exceedingly high” in sugar. For example, TGI Friday’s Passion Fruit Martini has over 12 teaspoons of sugar (49.1g).

The worst offender in the ‘fruit based/’soft’ mixed drink” category was WKD Blue. A 700ml bottle would provide 59g of sugar which Action on Sugar said was the same as eating four iced doughnuts in one sitting.

When it came to ‘spirit/liqueur and mixers (excluding gin)’, the worsts beverages had in excess of 30g of sugar in a serving. Action on Sugar said the findings in this category “clearly demonstrate that lower sugar products can be produced easily”.

It compared Asda Vodka, Lime & Lemonade, which has 12g sugar (3tsp) in a 250ml can, with Classic Combinations Vodka Lime and Lemonade has over a teaspoon of sugar extra at 16.2g sugar per 250ml can.

Worst in the ‘gin and mixer’ category was Classic Combinations Pink Gin and Tonic, containing a 27g of sugar in a 250ml can – the same sugar content as Coke. This is followed by Classic Combinations Rhubarb Gin and Ginger Ale with over five teaspoons of sugar (20.8g) in a 250ml can.

“Our survey clearly shows that similar drinks can be made with less sugar and calories, yet drink manufacturers are failing to take the appropriate action,” said Holly Gabriel, registered nutritionist at Action on Sugar.

“Urgent attention is required from the government to ensure that gaps in the law do not contribute to the rise in obesity and related health conditions, as well as alcohol harm.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.
















Latest news

Olam achieves 100% traceability across direct cocoa supply chain

Olam Cocoa has achieved 100% traceability across its direct global cocoa supply chain. The milestone is the first of many intended to achieve a sustainable...

Cranswick achieve food waste reduction target a decade early

Cranswick has achieved a 61% reduction in food waste a decade earlier than planned, eclipsing the international reduction target. The UK food producer has surpassed...

Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event hits London next year

With the rise in meat-free proteins, Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event will launch in London next year. Following a series of successful events in the...

Lab Innovations postponed to 2021

Lab Innovations, which was due to take place on 4 & 5 November at the NEC, Birmingham, has been postponed until next year in...

Innovia Films launch new carbon neutral label film

Innovia Films is launching Encore C45cn, the first carbon neutral BOPP label film. Encore C45cn is ISCC certified and will contribute to reducing carbon...

New barcode validation solution from Toshiba Tec

Print solutions specialist Toshiba Tec has launched ScanSure, a flexible verification-based validation solution for barcodes. Aimed at manufacturing companies, especially those in the food and...

Related news

Olam achieves 100% traceability across direct cocoa supply chain

Olam Cocoa has achieved 100% traceability across its direct global cocoa supply chain. The milestone is the first of many intended to achieve a sustainable...

Cranswick achieve food waste reduction target a decade early

Cranswick has achieved a 61% reduction in food waste a decade earlier than planned, eclipsing the international reduction target. The UK food producer has surpassed...

Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event hits London next year

With the rise in meat-free proteins, Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event will launch in London next year. Following a series of successful events in the...

Lab Innovations postponed to 2021

Lab Innovations, which was due to take place on 4 & 5 November at the NEC, Birmingham, has been postponed until next year in...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close