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July 28, 2023 - Carbohydrate Nutrition News

Lack of Calorie Reduction in Breakfast Cereals and Bakery Products with Sugars Claims in Canada

CSI’Flora Wang, PhD presenting research posters Manager of Nutrition & Scientific Affairs, Dr. Flora Wang, presented research posters at this year’s Dietitians of Canada and Canadian Nutrition Society conferences. Posters showcased new findings on the use of sugars-related nutrient content claims in breakfast cereals and bakery products in the Canadian marketplace. The Mintel Global New Product Database was used to analyze sugars reduction strategies, and changes in macronutrient and energy content in these product categories.

Sugars play a variety of functional roles such as taste, texture, and volume in cereals and baked goods. When sugars are removed or reduced, multiple substitution ingredients are often needed to maintain product taste, texture, and/or structure. 

Key findings from the research posters include: 

  • Despite being reduced in sugars, over ½ of breakfast cereals and over 1/3 of bakery products with sugars claims had either an increase or no change in Calorie content compared to non-reformulated reference products. 
  • The most common substitution ingredients used in sugars-claim products included low-calorie sweeteners, sugar alcohols, starch, and fibre
  • Bakery products with sugars claims often had higher fat content, which contributed to the energy difference. 

Based on these findings, sugars claims may potentially be misleading to consumers who expect these products to also be lower in Calories. Consumers are therefore encouraged to look at the entire food package, including List of Ingredients, Nutrition Facts table, and nutrient content claims, rather than solely the sugars claim to better understand the complete nutrition profile and choose a product that meets their unique needs and preferences.

For more information, view the research posters: 

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